SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 16.30pm

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 #Mon1630

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

9 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 16.30pm

Orion Leppan Taylor said : Guest Report a month ago

If, as we examined in earlier weeks, that shame and stigma are mechanisms for social control, including the following of laws and social conventions, then the question is begged; what happens when that shame or stigma pushes individuals in the other direction? Furthermore, are there emotions that can overpower these drives of fear and shame? It would seem that there are certainly circumstances when this can happen. The first kind of circumstance is when social stigma of a specific context overrides broader societal rules. Examples of this would be criminal gangs, from "bikies" to gangs in urban american communities such as the notorious LA based "Cryps" and "Bloods". Here, we see the direction of shame reversed. Instead of being made to feel guilty for committing crimes, gang members are made to feel shameful of their own 'weakness' if they are unwilling to commit crimes. Here, we see the same mechanisms, but simply in reverse. A slightly different circumstance would be the overriding of societal shame by a more powerful emotion, a good example of which would be 'hooliganism', or the practice of violent and destructive acts carried out by groups of sports fans. Here, these fans in most other circumstances would feel normal social pressures that discourage deviance, but with both the support and energy that is derived from their immediate surroundings, they are able to ignore previous conditioning and instead act upon impulse. While there may be other emotion based explanations for crime, wrongdoing and deviance, these two examples I believe provide two examples of groups of people for whom the normal mechanisms of stigma breakdown, and provide some explanatory power for the link between emotions and deviance.

Benoit Tuffy said : Guest Report 2 months ago

As noted by Cohen, ‘Deviance’ is the act of breaching established expectations, however classifications of deviance vary amongst individuals, cultures, and societies (2002), thus making it a social construction. However, why do people perform deviant behaviour? Katz (1998), notes that deviant behaviour can be seductive. Indeed, performing sneaky and secretive behaviours such as theft or cheating enables people to release a sense of shame and guilt which can generate an overwhelming sense of thrill. In relation to the Cronulla riots, Hage (2009) notes that this can be seen as an explosion of anger. Indeed, he argues that societal expectations of how to act and feel resulted in repressed feelings of shame, fear, anger, guilt and even thrill which in turn exploded into violent outbursts of anger. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut7 Cohen, S 2002, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: the creation of Mods and Rockers, 3rd edition, Routledge, London & New York, p32. Hage, G. (2009) ‘Zionists on Cronulla Beach’. in Greg Noble (ed.), Lines in the sand: The Cronulla riots, multiculturalism and national belonging, Sydney Institute of Criminology, Sydney Katz, J 1988, Sneaky thrills, in Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil, Basic Books, New York

Brittany Gratzer said : Guest Report 2 months ago

Are people born bad? Some would say yes because there is no logical reasoning behind some bad acts. However if you look further into that persons past there will most likely be a reason as to why they have done what they’ve done. A common motive for murder is jealousy, and a common motive for vandalism is excitement. These emotions are very persuasive to us, as they can drive us to do ‘deviant’ acts. the way fear and shame feed off each other is that it allows the individual to worry about feeling shame because they feel fear. When this occurs in a young man it can often result in anger (Hage, 2009) which is then targeted to the ‘reason’ why they feel this way, and when a group of them get together it can result in group criminal behaviour.

Samantha Waters said : Guest Report 2 months ago

It is always a big question to ask as to why people do bad things? Do they feel like they live in freedom by doing whatever they want to do? Why people do criminal actions does have many different levels, others would have grown up with crime so that could be something that they know and be considered as ‘normal’, others may do things because people cannot see another why out and so they do deviant acts and then courses them to do the wrong thing. I would also believe that the feeling of doing the wrong thing can be like a drug, do it once makes you want to do it again, to the point you do not want to stop. I think it can also be related to the “thrill of getting caught and punished”, and I think the more often someone does bad things the more severe the bad thing they need to do to still feel that thrill. I also think that once they are used to doing these things the actions then can become apart of their personality. For example; those who cheat on their partner can give that person this sense of thrill and excitement of having to hide behind your partner, which can make you feel invincible, not caring about what the actions you are doing will do to the person you are hurting. then doing bad things becomes an individual act a selfish act for yourself. #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1630

Samantha Waters said : Guest Report 2 months ago

It is always a big question to ask as to why people do bad things? Do they feel like they live in freedom by doing whatever they want to do? Why people do criminal actions does have many different levels, others would have grown up with crime so that could be something that they know and be considered as ‘normal’, others may do things because people cannot see another why out and so they do deviant acts and then courses them to do the wrong thing. I would also believe that the feeling of doing the wrong thing can be like a drug, do it once makes you want to do it again, to the point you do not want to stop. I think it can also be related to the “thrill of getting caught and punished”, and I think the more often someone does bad things the more severe the bad thing they need to do to still feel that thrill. I also think that once they are used to doing these things the actions then can become apart of their personality. For example; those who cheat on their partner can give that person this sense of thrill and excitement of having to hide behind your partner, which can make you feel invincible, not caring about what the actions you are doing will do to the person you are hurting. then doing bad things becomes an individual act a selfish act for yourself. #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1630

Jarrod Wilson said : Guest Report 2 months ago

Deviance from what is considered socially acceptable behaviour has occurred since the beginning of time and will probably continue to be a contested phenomenon until the end. Katy raises an interesting point of Freudian theory and the notion of 'Id' as a crucial aspect of negative behaviour, given this is assumed to be within all of us there is obvious underlying factors as to why some act on these urges and others do not. (Hage 2009) claims that by engaging these activities the body and mind can gain some form of emotional overdrive from getting away with a crime, this would play a huge role in recidivism. Some people may never experience these feelings and therefore never see the advantage to this sort of behaviour. The Cronulla riots were an eruption of built up emotions and a lack of self control, amongst other things. These displays of ignorance and violence were believed to be right at the time of the offenders who were perhaps caught up in a mob mentality.

Stella Crick said : Guest Report 2 months ago

Deviance is the act of breaching established expectations, however classifications of deviance vary amongst individuals, cultures, and societies – therefore a social construction (Cohen, 2002). There’s a seduction nature to deviant behaviour, those who can accomplish the desired task are rewarded internally with a euphoric thrill and sense of power (Patulny, 2018). Though when a person doesn’t succeed, there can be a range of negative ramifications put on that person by society, friends, family, and also themselves. Analysing the relationship between the body and emotions when carrying out deviance, the outer body surface acts to conceal inner feelings like fear, shame, and anger that arise from perceived threats (Katz, 1998). Taking for example the 2005 Cronulla Riots, it is conclusive that although there are pre-determined rules set out in which we should abide by, the body can give precedence to emotions in the form of deviance (Hage, 2009). #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1630 References: Cohen, S 2002, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: the creation of Mods and Rockers, 3rd edition, Routledge, London & New York, p32. Hage, G 2009, Zionists, in G Noble (ed.) Lines in the Sand: The Cronulla Riots, Multiculturalism and National Belonging, Institute of Criminology Press, Sydney, p256. Katz, J 1988, Sneaky thrills, in Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions in Doing Evil, Basic Books, New York, pp59-64. Patulny, R 2018, Lecture 7: Deviant and Disembodied: fearful thrills, SOC344 Emotions, Bodies & Society, University of Wollongong, delivered 09/04/2018.

Jessica Baguley said : Guest Report 2 months ago

The dynamics of deviance are complex and involve interactions between various emotions. Goffman argues that individuals in a given society are merely actors who perform the roles that society has given them and abiding by the social rules that govern their stories (Goffman 1974). This means that people merely act like good, law-abiding citizens, repressing deviant behaviours and emotions for fear of being ostracized, that is at least, for the most part. There are countless examples of people who cannot repress certain deviant emotions, and they stray from the social script we are meant to follow. Deviant criminal behaviours such as theft, or rioting emerge when people are no longer able to repress emotions that society deems undesirable such as fear, shame, excitement, anger, thrill and relief (Hage 2009), (Katz, J 1998). ‘Sneaky crimes’ as Katz (1998) tells us, are seductive. Getting away with theft, or vandalism allows people to release their fear, and shame in outlets that, if one gets away with the act, generate overwhelming thrills and joyful emotions. Violent crimes however, like the Cronulla Riots, are explosions of repressed fear and shame which cannot be expressed in society and so are eventually released in angry outburst of violence (Hage 2009). Deviant behaviour in all of its forms, illustrates that while we are given roles to play we are more of a slave to our emotions and their impacts than we may care to acknowledge.

Katy Halverson said : Guest Report 2 months ago

When considering why people do ‘bad’ things, I think a major consideration is the more theological debate of whether human beings are naturally “good” or “evil.” Freudian theory suggests we are motivated by subconscious forces known as the id, ego, and superego, which drive our behavior. Freud would argue that our positive inclinations are rooted in the superego which encourages appropriate “pro-social” behavior, while the id caters to our more basic, unrestrained desires. If you think we humans are naturally badly behaved (and achieve good behavior through restraint by our more developed superego) then you might think our tendency towards crime is just the id guiding our actions. This might explain why petty crime feels so good—it’s a release from the constant restraint we put on ourselves to be well behaved. However, if you think that humans are naturally good, it may be nearly impossible to reason how it is we are capable of such monstrous behaviors as seen in Cronulla riots. I believe this kind of inhumane action is driven by basic emotions—fear, anger, and shame—which may seem to hijack our more rational behaving selves, driving us to animalistic brutality and rage. A perceived threat, something about another person that presents visible or invisible stigma, ignites in us a strong, animalistic reaction which elicits a tendency towards violence or cruelty that may not have presented itself before. #S344UOW18 #Mon1630 #Tut7 Reference: Hage, G. (2009) ‘Zionists on Cronulla Beach’. in Greg Noble (ed.), Lines in the sand: The Cronulla riots, multiculturalism and national belonging, Sydney Institute of Criminology, Sydney Katz, J. (1988) “The Seductions of Crime: Moral and Sensual Attractions of Doing Evil.” New York: Basil Blackwell, Chapter 2 Patulny, R (2018) “Deviant and Disembodied: Fearful Thrills,” SOC344, University of Wollongong. Viewed 09/04/2018.

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