SOC327 2017 Tut9 – Wed 1530

Why do people do ‘bad’ things? Is it because they feel bad – or because those bad things feel good? It’s not hard to find instances of terrible, scary things in popular media – youth gone wild, health epidemics, crime waves, etc. Sometimes these are beat-ups and moral panics; and sometimes they are more common than we think, or even unbelievably real. Nasty incidents of online trolling and attacks are commonplace, and mass gatherings channeling anger and even hatred occurred as recently as just over ten years ago Australia in the form of the Cronulla Riots.

But why do these things happen? What are the emotions that drive these acts? There can be a simple thrill or joy in doing the wrong thing – what Jack Katz calls the ‘seductions of crime’ – that tricks and compels some people into committing anti-social acts, but are these secretive, individualized compulsions not shaped by how we relate – or fail to relate authentically – to the people around us? Do we not deviate because we feel (and often hide) a sense of deviance, and maybe even shame? Is it shame and fear of the challenge to identities – to conventional masculine dominance, or the threat of job loss from globalization – that compels some young men to anger and violence, as Ghassan Hage has argued occurred on Cronulla Beach eleven years ago? How do all these feeling mix and feed off each other – fear, shame, repression, thrills, and anger – in the dynamics of deviance?

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17 Comments

  1. In reference to the Cronulla Riots, emotions felt seem to have been fear, which manifested as anger. It seems to be more than a thrill or joy that Katz (1973) described. These antisocial acts are different to crime like theft and vandalism that may be on whim and bring thrills, as they are based on a purpose derived from anger and fear. The Cronulla Riots seemed to be acted out by generally law abiding people, instead of individuals who commit acts of deviance regularly.

    I agree with Hage, where masculine, or even white dominance, threat of job loss, as well as fear,t compelled the people to riot. The people were angered by the way those few Lebanese boys breaking social and legal rules, and out of fear of this occurring again, they asserted dominance a group of people.

    Deviance can manifest in a range of ways, as noted by the Riots, from fear and anger, or it can occur just through the thrills or enjoyment of breaking the rules.

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  2. During the lecture for Week Nine, we learnt about visible and invisible stigmas as well as how the act of committing crimes can be a thrilling experience for individuals.

    It is argued that it is the thrill which influences people to do ‘bad’ things. This is evident when people break into properties but do not steal anything. Rather it is the satisfaction of getting away with the act itself (Katz 1988, p. 52). For example, Hage highlights how one attacker’s attention was focused on the enjoyment and amusement of forcing someone to assimilate as opposed to successfully assimilating the person (Hage 2009, p. 257).

    The Cronulla Riots is an example of how deviance is influenced by anger and fear, however, it can also be purely for the thrilling experience it creates (Katz 1988, p. 52).

    Reference List

    Hage, G 2009, ‘Zionists’, in G Noble (ed.), Lines in the Sand: The Cronulla Riots, Multiculturalism and National Belonging, Institute of Criminology Press, Sydney, N.S.W, pp. 252-261.

    Katz, J 1988, ‘Sneaky thrills’, in Seduction of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil, BasicBooks, New York, pp. 52-79.

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  3. Deviance is contextual – what is considered deviant by one individual may be entirely socially acceptable by other, therefore; it is hard to classify what is a bad thing. I agree with Katz (1988) theoretical insight into the deviant act of shoplifting. Katz outlines that shoplifting enables a sense of euphoria (1988, p.64), therefore; it will promote confidence and encourage individuals into doing it again because those bad things felt good (Patulny 2017).

    Reflecting on the Cronulla Riots, a false sense of patriotism overshadowed by fear fuelled the riot. Globalisation significantly challenged people’s beliefs and created an ‘us’ and ‘them’ ideology (Hage 2009, p.255). Individuals were fearful of change as “multiculturalism was too well entrenched in everyday life to simply disappear” (Hage 2009, p.257). Because of this skewed perception, can the Cronulla Riots be considered deviant? Nonetheless, it continues to have a significant impact on Australians for generations to come.

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  4. Complex emotions have been discussed widely this semester, and it has become apparent by now that ‘shame’ is one of the most complex emotions, as it is taught to us as children to be felt. So for someone to not feel shame or ashamed when they do something ‘bad’, it is because they do not believe that their actions can be stigmatised towards them, or maybe they are doing it because of the ‘thrill’ of doing something bad. It cannot be possible to indirectly work out why someone is doing this unless they are asked/interviewed etc. But the Cronulla Riots are a unique event, wherein groups of (mainly white Australian born males) people targeted a minority (the Muslim people) in a very public setting because the majority felt as though they were being ‘overtaken’. In this specific context, the Muslim people had the visible stigma of being of a different race/ethnicity/religion to the majority of the population; the attackers were a racially provoked crowed who had the power and privilege to do so.

    The emotions felt by the attackers cannot simply be as ‘simply’ put together or blamed on the ‘seductions of crime’, wherein Jack Katz could have blamed their behaviour on a manifestation leading to the events we still know today. The event was not the quick cheap thrill of vandalism or shoplifting, but instead the pent up generational racial vilification of a group of people. As I pointed out earlier and Ghassan Hage built up on, it was the innate masculine dominant violence that accounted for the representation of the men that day.

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  5. The act of deviance itself can be the reason that people participate in dangerous activities. People choose to ride a rollercoster simply to relish the thrill of fear. When people fear the unknown other kinds of emotions appear to manifest. For example Herring discusses that sometimes trolls couch their initial interactions in sincerity and then it escaltes to being provocative and trying to provoke anger and arguement in another. This can be done under anominity online and therefore it can forfill the deviant desires without the shame or guilt.

    When thinking of the Cronulla riots, these were instigated by a bunch of text messages being passed around calling for there race to be in Cronulla at a specific time to face the perceived enemy. These texts were from an anonymous source and were trying to antagonise a fight.

    I think the Cronulla riots clearly showed that people were influenced by fear and a sense of mateship but without a true cause.

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  6. Deviance, being an absence of conformity to social norms, can be seen in both formal and informal acts. The formal ones such as murder and robbery are punishable by law whereas the informal acts such as picking your nose in public do not evoke any harsh punishment other than perhaps a bit of embarrassment at best. It seems there must be some kind of thrill attached or else why would anyone bother to do such things. When Katz (1988) discusses in “The Seductions of Crime” about shoplifting and the sensations behind it, I linked this to Kleptomaniacs – people who steal items that are not needed or have small value. The thrill these people must experience before, during and after they steal an item, must be so intense they are not able to resist the urge to keep doing it. There would have to be something worthwhile – some kind of feeling (thrill) to justify the risk of getting caught.
    Hage (2009) discusses the Cronulla Riots as white supremacy in our multicultural society where the drive to riot was to assert dominance over the Muslim people. I believe fear of change sparked the anger and hate that was seen in the violent acts that occurred. The encouragement from others saw them come together as one big group, egging each other on, giving them a sense of belonging and pride which gave them a thrill.
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  7. Deviance and doing bad things can be thought about as doing something for the thrill or joy of it, purely because of the adrenaline rush and the feeling the bad act gives you when you’re committing it, this is described by Katz (1973).

    I think that what happened with the Cronulla riots was more than that. All the emotions mentioned mixed together to create the full picture of the riots. It started off with repression and possibly anger which resulted from the september 11 attacks and then moved on from their.

    Some people definitely would have been in it for the thrill of it, others for the fear and when the Muslims retaliated it could have been a mixture of pride and shame, no one can really no for sure though. I’m sure many people involved, when looking back, aren’t sure why they did what they did.

    This shows that deviance can be manifested in a variety of ways and doesn’t have one clear reason behind why someone commits a deviant act.

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  8. People act in deviant ways because of the thrill and power it generates within them. Many people in society employ deviant behavior to emotionally and physically enact normalcy, are seduced by objects, or revile in the accomplishment of “sneaky crimes” (Katz 1988, p.53). However, deviant behavior can go beyond individual acts of sneaky crime and develop into serious criminal behavior. This is seen through the Cronulla Riots in 2005, which enforced extreme deviant acts against supposed ‘non-Australians’. In the lead up to the Cronulla riots, political and social movements towards a “…White monoculturalism” led by the Howard government, aided in the hostility between “Australians” and people from a Muslim decent (Hage 2009, p.225). In turn, creating a shared “…enemy in Muslim fanatics, or simply Muslims” (Hage 2009, p.255). All such factors enforced the “…ideology of white decline”, and fear of those who threatened Australian culture (Hage 2009, p.256). During the Cronulla Riots, this fear was heightened by the supposed ‘non-Australian’, “…boys acting as if they were completely assimilated and integrated despite their cultural difference” (Hage 2009, p.258). In this sense, the attacks, hatred and anger that fueled the Cronulla Riots, were based on fear of people becoming over assimilated within the Australian culture. The Cronulla Riots were influenced by people’s emotions of fear and anger, which influenced them to act in deviant ways of force to retain power within them selves and within their culture.

  9. People act in deviant ways because of the thrill and power it generates within them. Many people in society employ deviant behavior to emotionally and physically enact normalcy, are seduced by objects, or revile in the accomplishment of “sneaky crimes” (Katz 1988, p.53). However, deviant behavior can go beyond individual acts of sneaky crime and develop into serious criminal behavior. This is seen through the Cronulla Riots in 2005, which enforced extreme deviant acts against supposed ‘non-Australians’. In the lead up to the Cronulla riots, political and social movements towards a “…White monoculturalism” led by the Howard government, aided in the hostility between “Australians” and people from a Muslim decent (Hage 2009, p.225). In turn, creating a shared “…enemy in Muslim fanatics, or simply Muslims”(Hage 2009, p.255). All such factors enforced the “…ideology of white decline”, and fear of those who threatened Australian culture (Hage 2009, p.256). During the Cronulla Riots, this fear was heightened by the supposed ‘non-Australian’, “…boys acting as if they were completely assimilated and integrated despite their cultural difference” (Hage 2009, p.258). In this sense, the attacks, hatred and anger that fueled the Cronulla Riots, were based on fear of people becoming over assimilated within the Australian culture. The Cronulla Riots were influenced by people’s emotions of fear and anger, which influenced them to act in deviant ways of force to retain power within them selves and within their culture.

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  10. Moral panics set by the media and other organisations, can dispel a culture of fear amongst its audience. This message of fear can often induce emotions such as anger, hate and the opposing emotions of shame and guilt. The Cronulla Riots are a prime example of how a moral panic can induce a culture of fear, and the national discourse on the matter will resonate different emotions to different people. The drivers of action on these emotions can be due to the seduction of crime, or as Katz theorises a ‘deviant air’ that compels an individual to act in a deviant way, in that particular moment (1988, p.54). The aftermath of these acts can often leave the individuals feeling a euphoric thrill or the opposing feeling of shame, guilt, and even embarrassment.
    However, these emotions were acted upon due to the overwhelming patriotism, which was consequently fueled by scaremongering which was a prime feature in the discourse of this event.

  11. Both the readings (Katz 1998; Hage 2009) and the lecture (Patulny 2017) introduce the concept that emotions, such as anger, pride, fear, guilt, joy, etc, are leading factors in individuals decisions to do ‘bad things’. An example of this is that youths have been known to break into the homes of others, but fail to take anything from the home itself (Katz 1998, p. 52). This act of deviance is undergone in order to feel the emotions previously mentioned, but additionally it allows the individuals to determine which aspects of deviance others are able to detect. The lecture discussed this line of argument, originally proposed by Katz (1998), which asserts that an individual undergoes one form of deviance in order to determine whether people can see the other forms of deviance that my exist within them. An example of this is “if they can’t see us shoplifting, maybe they can’t see all the other stuff about us that is odd and different”.

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  12. Behaving in a deviant way can somewhat been seen as making a statement, The Katz reading explained that our emotions such as anger, fear and pride lead us to do bad things or behave in a negative way. I feel aggression is a primitive emotion especially when claiming dominance and territory,it is mostly established in males fighting over food or females to mate with. In relation to the cronulla riots, it is almost debatable that the men were acting primitively to claim their territorial dominance to Australian land, along with the pressures of conforming to their social group or social status.

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  13. The relationship between deviance and the emotions involved give great reason to acknowledge why people partake in criminal activities. This relationship not only provides explanation to particular motives used by offenders when committing crimes, but also allows analysis towards what emotions are involved in relation to certain offences. In the Katz (1998) and Hage (2009) reading, the distinct emotions of anger, pride, fear, shame, guilt etc. are recognised as the primary emotions linked to criminal behaviour. The Cronulla Riots is a prime example of emotions relation to deviance and the way in which a certain moral panic can uprise throughout societies. Furthermore, what Katz (1998) describes as the ‘seductions of crime’ is ultimately a thrill felt by the offenders when committing a minor or major offence. The inability to resist in partaking in criminal activities leads to other avenues in the relationship between our emotions and criminality.

  14. There a so many reasons why people do ‘bad’ things. Sometimes it is the thrill of getting away with something that is socially unaccepted, other times it is fuelled by fear and anger. Katz (1988:64) talks about shoplifting as a way for people to get a thrill and euphoria. These feelings are enabled when the act is deviant and the individual feels like they are getting away with something. However, I think anger is more often a massive driver of deviant acts. For example teenagers who are rebelling against their parents, because they are angry about something they have done or ex-partners who spread around sexually explicit photos (revenge porn) because they are angry about the break-up. In the case of the Cronulla riots, it seems like racial stigma fostered fear in the white Australians. Hage (2009) argues that the threat to white masculinity, job loss and the division of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that globalisation has caused, created fear. This fear was managed with outward displays of pride and anger which caused the rioting. Once the riots started, many people probably joined in for the ‘thrill’ of it. Shame would have also been a prominent emotion. The Lebanese who were being targeted would have felt shame because of how the white men were reacting to them and the white men would have felt shame because of their unjustified actions.

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  15. To engage in deviant behaviour can be exhilarating! As Katz argues ‘sneaky thrills’ are the reason some people commit property crimes such as joyriding, shoplifting and vandalism. These types of behaviours are often undertaken by adolescents and young adults. That is not to suggest that older adults do not engage in these behaviours, they do; only that there are often other factors involved, such as economic gain and addiction.

    Risk taking behaviour in young people can be seen, not only in property crimes but also in activities such as speeding, underage drinking and drug taking. These deviant behaviours commence with feelings of excitement, anticipation and fear, but can quickly turn into feelings of shame and guilt if caught. This shame is formalised by the justice system through arrest, court proceedings, and punishment.

    So why do young people do it, especially when the risks are so high? I think the answer is fairly straight forward; to feel good! To feel a rush of adrenaline. To have control when they feel they have so little. Especially in a world which is over regulated; is by and large predictable; and at times (let’s face it) boring!

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  16. The ideas concerning why bad things are done by people are interesting as they make us wonder what emotions are involved and also the aspect of normality in such behaviours.
    A question to ask is: can the actions of something like the Cronulla Riots be taken as deviant or is it more normal than we think?

    For understanding a certain part of the behaviour which eventuated during the Cronulla Riots, we can look at stigma. The Cronulla Riots evoked stigma, not just visible stigma but also the invisible forces which play into emotions (e.g. not just bodily stigma of race but also of citizenship and exclusion).
    Scheff (2000) talks about acting out stigma and how a cycle of emotion can take place in propelling certain emotions, e.g. anger.
    Being trapped in these emotional cycles can be hostile for people who then take their emotional animosity out on others.
    Can this be seen in what unfolded in the Cronulla Riots?

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  17. Human are not innately bad, everyone is grey as we always have a bit of bad and good in us. People always try to spread their beliefs and prove their point, that they are correct. In relation to the Cronulla riots, as Hage states, the Cronulla riots in 2005 and the 9/11 bombing in USA, not only changed the minds of people but even the minds of children. They were forced to look at another culture as an enemy and hatred was spewed into the innocent minds of the children, through these riots.
    Most of the western countries like Australia, which preach to the citizens that they are a multicultural country, found that they could not calm their citizens but they feared that the Cronulla Riots would blow out of proportion and become another 9/11 in their country. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-11/soutphommasane-echoes-of-the-cronulla-riots-on-our-streets-today/7020388 Emotions like anger from suppressed groups brings out these forms of violence in public. Many people feel that they are intimidated and forced to live in countries as second class citizens.
    As Katz states, more than the older people, its the younger generation that usually feel the need to express their problems and hence commit these acts that are classified as violence. Even the Cronulla riots in 2005 starts because the Australian lifesaver said that the young Middle Eastern boys who came to the beach were making fun of the Australian women on the beach. It is also very popular to see media and today’s society showing refugees and citizens from other countries in an absolutely disapproving light. The media releases statements and documents everyday claiming that several politicians and citizens claim that the refugees take up all the jobs in the Western countries today. This has resulted in hatred and anger being released by the citizens in a country who feel that they are being invaded by foreigners.
    Events like the Cronulla Riots only prevent peace from prevailing between two communities. Everyone has different views and it is difficult to judge who is correct or incorrect in this situation. Australians feel the Middle Eastern men should feel shameful of their behaviour, whereas the Middle Eastern men feel that the Australians should feel shameful of their behaviour.

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