SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Bega

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?

#S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Bega

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

5 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Bega

Ryan Lonesborough said : Guest Report 10 months ago

In this week’s lecture, Patulny (2017) surveyed people on whether or not they felt stigmatized feelings in the past week. The results showed that anger was the most common emotion felt. Patulny also discusses that people are more likely to report fear than shame or guilt. In addition he makes a point that women are more likely to show emotions than me. He concludes that in our society men cannot express their feelings free of stigma. With that being said, it makes me wonder if men are more likely to deviate in acts of crime (Katz, 1988) and trolling because of their hidden emotions or have outburst of anger like the example of the Cronulla riots (Hage, 2009). I wonder if men steal more as way to help themselves feel emotions such as a euphoria thrill and as a way to express their identity.

Liane Munro said : Guest Report 10 months ago

The drivers for deviance are many and varied. Katz (1988, pp. 57- 65) explores some of the factors that drive deviant behaviours, focusing in particular on the emotions that surround danger, adventure and thrill and their contrasting feelings of humiliation, shame and degradation. Paltulny (2018) examines the connection between rage and shame in what Thomas Scheff described as the rage-shame cycle. This describes an interconnected loop, which sees anger and shame enflame and escalate each other, often with disastrous consequences. As an example of this, Hage (2009, p.256) reflects on the structural and political context that enflamed the Cronulla riots in Australia in 2005. This conflict involved two groups - Australian white nationalist youth (visible/embodied attackers) and Australian Lebanese youth (visible/embodied stigmatised) - that were fuelled by a political environment in the Howard era which openly encouraged the suppression of multiculturalism and the restoration of nationalism and monoculturalism. An environment that, Paltulny (2018) argues, sees once managed nationalistic feeling norms that engendered feelings of guilt, being liberated by nationalistic rhetoric, emboldening feelings of anger (albeit miss-directed) and encouraging acts of danger and thrill. #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Bega

Alex Young said : Guest Report 10 months ago

I agree with Alicia that the Cronulla Riots were an example of assertive monoculturalism, and that it was a visible example of deviance stemming from anger and shame. The Cronulla Riots is an example of people facing visible/embodied stigma due to their ethnicity (primarily Lebanese). In this case the attackers were also visible/embodied as an angry racially motivated mob. Ghassan Hage looks at the Cronulla Race Riots, and then draws parallels to other instances of multicultural or monocultural riots in Israel/Palestine. He argues that the resurgence of a White nationalism in Australia, inspired, in part by Israel’s self-depiction as a white colonial settler society led to the riots (Hage, p. 255). Specifically, Hage linked the Cronulla Riots to an instance of racially motivated violence in an Israeli town called Acre. In Acre some Jewish Youths banded together to ‘reclaim’ a shopping mall for their own, with the intention to deny entry to any Palestinians (Hage, p. 254). These examples although, different in many ways different share similar motives of taking back an area from the ‘Invader’.

Carly McDonald said : Guest Report 10 months ago

I agree with Alicia that the emotional drive behind why and how people commit acts of deviance is a complex arena to navigate. The two readings for the week were based on acts of deviance, Katz discussed how shoplifting was an internal experience and used terms like provocative and seductive (Katz 1988). Hage described acts of public rebellion and discussed anger and rage, these two scenarios appear to be different emotional experiences. Even so there is a common thread that binds them and that is deviance, the act of being non-normative in society. Fear, shame, repression, thrills, and anger, are common terms used to describe the emotions that drive individuals or groups to act in rebellious ways. These terms produce a negative connotation toward deviance, but if deviance is simply the act of being non-normative, I strongly disagree that this is a negative trait. Pushing boundaries about what is considered normal is important for our society to evolve and inevitably break down oppressive ideologies. The rise of feminism and ‘black power’ movements, are evidence of deviance that enabled oppressed groups greater freedom. Of course, I don’t condone acts of violence and stealing for the thrill of it, but what about the big corporations laundering money? What about the politicians making decisions regarding violent attacks on other nations? It seems these are not considered acts of deviance because they assumedly follow the ‘norm’ of our society. Pushing boundaries is expected and should be encouraged, channelling the emotions of fear, anger, shame to create constructive change, is what we should focus on.

Alicia Redshaw said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Cohen (1973) states “social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance” (Cohen 2002, p.31) Deviant behaviour in all its forms is an amalgamation of emotions expressed in ways which are against societal expectations and discourses. In deliberating on why people do bad things the complexity and diversity of answers are myriad and often enigmatic to objectively explain. However, one form of explanation is what Jack Katz describes as the ‘seduction of crime’, the thrilling sensation which is gained through perpetration of crime rather than the materialistic notions attached to such crime. The thrill of accomplishing the crime along with what Goffman’s describes as surface acting (Patulny 2017), is a form of deviance driven by emotions including, shame and excitement. Illustrated through the example of a shoplifter whereby, the offender rewarded with a euphoric thrill as a result of the evasion of being caught -successfully surpassing an “existential dilemma” (Katz 1988, 2002) in conjunction with experience and satisfaction of committing the crime (Patulny 2017). Additionally, the combination of anger and shame can drive acts of deviance seen through the example of the Cronulla riots. The Cronulla riots was a “manifestation of assertive monoculturalism” (Hage 2009, p.253) and against all societal discourses, legal structures and governing rules their emotions have penetrated these into conducting acts of deviance in a violent manner in attempt to assert themselves and overcome the sensation of being powerless.

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