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.

2 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Bega

Carly McDonald said : Guest Report yesterday

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 a week 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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