Social Deviance/Social Control

Shift From Torture To PrisonEdit

Power And Structural TheoriesEdit


Michel Foucault was a French philosopher who died in 1984. His work which relates most closely to the theme of social control was Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. In this work, Foucault traces the history of punishment from the middle of the 18th century to the present. Although the book starts with a vivid image of harsh corporeal punishment, Foucault's main purpose in this work is to discuss not merely how we have become a "nicer" society, but how punishment has changed. For Foucault, the change that occurred in our treatment of criminals moved the target of our punishment from the body to the "soul", or the psyche.

Economic TheoriesEdit

Sometimes norms are informally enforced. Foreign cars are not popular in Detroit (and Michigan as a whole) because they are a threat to the local economy. Those cars tend to be vandalized (especially keyed). Since most people do not want to have their cars damaged they will buy an American one. Those who still drive foreign cars in Michigan do so at their own risk. In Atlanta (and most of Georgia) drinking Coca-Cola is a social norm. This is enforced by the lack of Pepsi products at restaurants and stores.

Scrubs TheoriesEdit

  • Placing your gum in the trash is a social norm. Chris Turk violated this norm when he spit his gum on the floor. The Janitor enforced this norm when he used gum to write "Gum goes in the trash" on the windshield of Turk's car (the Janitor violated a social norm).
  • Not farting is a social norm. The Todd violated this norm when he farted in the OR. Dr. Wen made him leave (he enforced the norm).
  • Respecting others' property is a social norm. Dr. Cox violated this norm when he increased the speed on Dr. Kelso's treadmill (which resulted in him being thrown against the wall). Dr. Kelso enforced this norm when he spoiled the Heat-Lakers game for Dr. Cox.

The Current Prison SystemEdit

Law EnforcementEdit

A local law enforcement ensures or at least tries to ensure that deviant behaviour can be controlled.



Hyperincarceration In The US Since The 1970sEdit