Tuesday 31 March – Deviance


***IMPORTANT: The Deviance reader I scanned and uploaded to the blog on Tuesday 24 March was not the complete version (it was missing every second page).

If you have already downloaded it, please delete it and download the following PDF documents which make up the entirety of the Deviance reader:




Today’s lesson:

  1. Please watch the following videos which recap what we learnt last lesson (including summaries of the first two theories we look at), and make sure you are on track with your notes for this.


Video 1

Video 2

Video 3


P.S I know I look insane in the freeze frames of these vids. Soz.
  1. Try to use Merton’s (1968) Structural Strain theory to explain the information presented in the stimulus below:


Stimulus 1 – The female criminal : an overview of women’s drug use and offending behaviour

Women’s drug use is believed to be a defining factor in their participation in crime and it is argued that the severity of women’s drug use is more closely related to their criminality than it is for men, particularly for prostitution and property crime. Women’s drug use and offending are different from men’s. For instance, female offenders are more likely than males to be incarcerated for non-violent crimes, such as drug offences (14 percent of female prisoners, compared to 9 percent of males), whereas male offenders are more likely to be incarcerated for violent crimes such as assault (23 percent of male prisoners, compared to 14 percent of females) (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2002). Women drug users, particularly those who have been incarcerated, experience higher levels of abuse, economic hardship and other adversity in their lives than men.

Source: https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi264

If you need a sentence starter: “Merton’s (1968) Structural Strain theory explains deviance as… this theory could explain the information presented in the stimulus, particularly through the use of the [insert the type of response you think most applies here].. because..

In what ways might Merton’s theory not be applicable/helpful in explaining the above stimulus?


3. Turn to page 10 of the Deviance Reader and read about Cultural Transmission theory – particularly Sutherland’s (1939) Differential Association theory.                   

  • Write down, in your own words, the key argument put forward by Sutherland, be sure to include the key concepts (age, intensity and ratio) and what they concepts mean.
  • Do you think this theory is reflective of the earlier perceptions around crime and deviance (absolute definition of crime and deviance) or does it acknowledge the relativity of deviance? Explain your answer.
  • Apply this theory to the following stimulus from the 2016 Sociology exam paper:


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