Sociology and People

Hannah Wisnewski Period 4 Sociology Mr. Taylor Essays for Test 1. Clarify how folkways, mores, and laws vary in importance within American society. Give examples of each. Their importance of folkways, mores and laws within American society is that, in combination, they help maintain a civil society. Folkways are rules or standards that cover ways of thinking, feeling, and behavior but lack moral overtones. Folkways are socially accepted however not morally significant. They are norms for everyday behavior that people follow for the sake of tradition.
But if the folkway is broken there is no moral or legal consequence. Folkways in the United States consist of supporting school activities, speaking to other students in the hall, and if male, removing hats in church. In society today we find people who always wear shorts with a suit or who talk loudly odd but society doesn’t consider them immoral. However if someone has obnoxious behavior at a party after excessive drinking can bring in strong negative reactions from others. Mores are strict norms that control moral and ethical behavior. Mores deal with morality which is the right and wrong.
Mores are norms of great moral significance. Conformity to mores conveys strong social approval whereas violation conveys strong disapproval. Following folkways is generally a matter of personal choice; though conformity to mores is a social requirement. An example of a more would be if someone attends church in the nude, s/he would offend most people of that culture and be morally shunned. Laws are norms that are formally defined and enforced by officials. Folkways and mores emerge together slowly and unconsciously created whereas laws were created and enforced.

Mores are an important source for laws, for instant at one point the norm against murder hadn’t been written down. Then society advanced and the norm against murder became formally defined and enforced. Folkways can lead into and become mores or laws. An example of a law is smoking. Up until the 1970’s smoking when mounting health convinced many people that smoking should be limited or banned in public places. As society developed, many states picked up the law against smoking in airports, government buildings, restaurants, and other open general public places. . Which theory of deviance best explains why people do deviant acts? Why? Which theory does not explain why people do deviant acts? Why? I think the control theory best explains why people do deviant acts because they conform to social norms depends on the presence of strong bonds between individuals and society. Social bonds control the behavior of people and thus preventing deviant acts. Most people do not conform since they do not want to “lose face” with family, friends, or classmates. Control theory is broken into 4 parts first and foremost attachment.
This is when an individual has strong attachment to groups or other individuals. Next is commitment which is great commitment to goal the more likely a person would be to conform. The commitment is greater than the commitment of people who do not believe they can compete within the system. Next in the four is involvement which is participation in approved social activities increases the probability of conformity. Besides positively focusing an individual’s time and energy and the participation p connects contact with valuable opinions.
Last is belief in norms and values of society promotes conformity. This belief appropriateness for the rules of social life strengthens peoples resolve no to deviate from those norms. I think the strain theory does not explain why people do deviant acts because it is merely a hypothesis of Durkheim’s concept of anomie, whereas control is the social bonds controlling the behavior of people. There are four parts to the strain theory, first is innovation which an individual accepts the goal of success but uses illegal means to achieve it this is the most obvious type of deviant response.
An example of innovation is robbery, drug dealing and other criminal acts. Next is ritualism where the individual rejects the goal but continues to use the legitimate means. This is where people go through the motions without really believing the process. This could be a teacher going through daily lessons however not caring about the way the students turn out. Retreatism is a deviant response in which both the legitimate means and the approved goals are rejected.
Alcoholics and drug addicts are retreatists, thus meaning they are not successful nor seek to be successful. Rebellion is people who both reject success and the approved means for achieving it. However at the same time they additionally add a new set of goals and means. Some of the militia group members demonstrate this response. However they live alone to pursue the goal of changing society by doing deviant things, such as creating their own currency, deliberately violating gun laws, and threatening violent behavior against law enforcement. . America’s prisons are at a crisis. Explain how bad the prison problem has become. What are some alternatives to prison? How would you solve the prison crisis? The problem with the prisons is that they have become increasingly over populated. Some alternatives to prison are a combination of prison and probation which a mixed or split sentence known as shock probation which is designed to shock offenders into recognizing the realities of prison life. Prisoner’s serve part of their sentence in an institution and rest on probation.
Another alternative is a community-based program. These programs are designed to reintroduce criminals into society. At this time the prisoners will have the opportunity to become part of society however under professional guidance and supervision. The next alternative is diversion strategy which is aimed at preventing, or greatly reducing the offender’s involvement in the criminal justice system. This alternative involves a referral to a community-based treatment program rather than a prison or a probationary program.
If I could solve the prison crisis personally I would just build more prisons out in the middle of nowhere so I can keep everyone safe and protected. I feel like if an individual is in prison for something they have done then they deserve to be there away from society. Personally I don’t feel like going from prison to prohibition really does much because who’s to say they will not commit crime again? Maybe this time even worse than the last because the individual (criminal) could want revenge.

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