SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 14.30pm

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 #Mon1430

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

2 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 14.30pm

Lauren Wightman said : Guest Report a week ago

Not to condense the occurrence of deviance down in to one simple reason, as deviance is quite complex and involves various emotions, but I do think that the feeling of power that deviance gives is very important in its occurrence. In regards to smaller-scale deviance like graffiti or shoplifting, I think there is power in being able to deceive people and getting away with it. In evading being caught, deviants also evade shame - so it becomes thrilling. With regards to trolling, I believe that people may feel power in making other people feel angry, powerless or out of control of their own emotions. I think sometimes, more small-scale deviance such as shoplifting is not just for material necessity but simply for the thrill of it and perhaps even for attention. I can understand why people do engage in deviant acts, as they’re allowing their repressed selves/emotions to break free of the constraints society puts on us and the constraints we put on our selves to act ‘appropriately’ all the time. In regards to the Cronulla Riots, I think what occurred was a cycle of emotions such as anger, shame and hatred, which fed into each other over and over in a cycle of enmity. The Riots did not suddenly just occur out of the blue, there was already longstanding racial stigma against Muslims and Arab persons, especially after 9/11. As a result, these emotions of hatred, etc. reinforced what was already there and created a mob mentality, which led to mass movement.

Ursula Jones said : Guest Report a week ago

A lot of deviant behaviour occurs so an individual can feel a thrill and joy of acting against the behaviour that is expected of them. Jack Katz (1988) believes that when a crime has been successful an individual can feel joy from the fun of completing a crime and a thrill and excitement from the build-up and completion of the crime. Some people also feel powerful from being deviant and not getting caught. It is also believed that people act out because of boredom and alienation. Deviant behaviour can result in gaining attention and creating some sort of drama in their lives. There are many emotions that are connected with deviant behaviour and each individual can feel differently to others and can aim for a different emotion to occur when they behave defiantly.

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