SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 12.30pm

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 #Mon1230

Posted in SOC327 - Emotions Bodies and Society, UOW.

10 Comments on SOC344 2018 Tut8 – Mon 12.30pm

Adriana Temelkova said : Guest Report 9 months ago

When someone commits a crime or involves themselves in an act that is 'frowned' upon, a series of complex emotions and motives are expressed which influences that individuals end choice to proceed with that behaviour. In particular, deviant behaviour has a strong linkage and influence in wanting to involve oneself with unjust behaviours, as Jack Katz (1988) argues, as its associated with an overwhelming sense of thrill or enjoyment in misbehaving and doing something that society has categorised as being 'not right'. There are numerous amounts of complex's emotions that are involved during and after the crime for both the participant and the public. In most cases, more so negative emotions then positive ones, feelings of guilt, shame and sadness can be expressed from the partaker when being found guilty by the public of their wrong doings, while the publics emotions can involve sadness, anger and frustration. Although I do partially agree with Jack Katz, I believe that committing a crime is steamed from other external factors such as, socioeconomic status, area/place one grew up in and past experiences play a far more greater influence of creating desperation, need and desire to commit crime. Each crime displays different cases which involves unique reasoning, motives and emotions behind that choice in behaviour, such as one may steal food as they are too poor to afford it or, reasoning behind this may be desperation for food to survive instead of doing that out of 'deviance' #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1630

Kaitlyn Poole said : Guest Report 10 months ago

I do not agree that crime is committed simply because there is a thrill involved. This is an oversimplification. There are, of course, some crimes that incorporate an element of enjoyment. For example shop lifting or joy riding often incorporate an element of a thrill. However there are for more complex social factors that come into play when an individual commits a crime. Racial stigma, both being the perpetrator of stigma and the victim, plays a role in the committing of a crime. Perpetrators may feel fear and anxiety and therefore commit racially motivated hate crimes. It may not be that extreme however. It may be a breach of anti-discrimination and employment law. Victims of racial stigma may face economic and social hardship. The crimes of the stigmatised may not necessarily be emotionally charged in the sense they are violent retaliations to the stigma. These crimes may include drug use, a crime that is high among individuals who are marginalised by society. In this instance internalised shame may play a greater role.

Genevieve Sutton said : Guest Report 10 months ago

There are many reasons behind acts of deviance, which are often complex and different for the individual. I agree with Katz’ argument that young people are often seduced into committing acts of deviance. The Cronulla riots are an example of this seduction into deviance, with the case of claiming land and territory over the Islamic population found there a source of power play. The seductiveness of power in this case lead to a riot causing both great harm and shame to those rioted against and those uninvolved, whilst those who were at the forefront of the riot felt they would gain power and “win back” their land. Those who were gaining the power as Hage discusses were claiming the power of being the victim of the Islamic people. #s344uow18 #tut8 #mon1230

Melissa Mackay said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Deviant behaviour and the perpetration of crime is linked to an overwhelming sense of enjoyment, or getting a thrill from doing something one isn’t supposed to do, as Jack Katz (1988) argues. I recently watched the Netflix documentary series 'Girls Incarcerated', which traced the experiences of several young female offenders in a juvenile detention centre in Madison, Indiana, most of whom had committed crimes like theft, to more serious offences like drug abuse and aggravated assault, and armed robbery. A significant portion of these young women identified that they had ended up in juvenile detention, or what they referred to as “lock up”, as a result of their own poor choices, yet on the surface appeared to be proud of the crimes they committed, arguing in line with Katz’s (1988) statement: “the process is a kind of game” (p.67). After watching the show progress, it became apparent that these initial outer feelings of power and pride began to disappear and made way for more clearly identifiable feelings of shame and embarrassment. I think that as the girls in these situations could no longer relate to those around them, they began to feel differently about their actions, and as a result regretted their deviant behaviours. Interestingly, the rate of reoccurrence of committing a crime once the offenders had left Madison Juvenile Detention Centre reveals that perhaps these feelings are entirely situational, as some of the girls documented had been once again placed in custody only a short time after being released.

Eunkyu Kim said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Committing crime and doing bad things is a complex action with different emotions expressed by people. Individualised action and internal emotions of thrill and joy allows to commit crime, accordingly to Katz, while complex external social situation occurring fear, shame and anger, such as Cronulla riot, can also impact on committing crime. It is interesting to see that, according to Katz, in the process of committing crime, specifically theft, by the people who are in material necessity feel ‘exciting attraction’ and thrill. Crime and deviance in the individual state are occurred not by an external social situation but complex emotions of thrill and excitement felt by an individual. Relating this to Cronulla Riot, expressing people’s emotions of anger, thrill and excitement have not occurred by a social situation in Australia but by individualised deviant emotions and shared emotions by other people. Hage stated that people involved Cronulla Riot shared just the will of hurting and it was not related with Islamic terrorism. Thus, deviant and crime actions, in most of the time, according to the two scholars, are mainly occurred by individual emotional state of thrill, anger, fear and shame and socially shared emotions of crime and deviance such as ‘will of hurting’ rather than ideological social phenomenon that disadvantages people. #S344UOW18 #TUT8 #MON1230

Chloe Aubin said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Acts of crime fill the media on a daily basis. Our society is riddled with criminal activity, both significant and trivial. While it is important to understand exactly why people commit crimes, it is a subject that many people cannot comprehend. Chants such as “F*** the Wog” and “save ‘Nulla, F*** Allah” filled the air on December 11th, 2005. On this day, a day that has been described to have “shocked the nation”, approximately 5,000 Australians gathered to resort to violent means against local immigrants. A day where the Aussie flag was used as a symbol of hatred and the streets resembled a war zone. Racism is a major component that led towards the events of the Cronulla riots of 2005. People of Middle Eastern appearance were assaulted based on an underlying issue of racism in our society, as explained in an article by Knox (2011). Many attempts were made to attempt to justify the happenings of the Cronulla Riots, such as that the people involved were classified under the domain of the ‘uneducated’ (Knox 2011). This is a concept as described by Katz (1988) to be a ‘background force’ to crime. With chants such as “respect locals or piss off”, the people involved in these riots were explained to have ‘background forces’, such as their lack of education, which led them to possess such hatred towards Muslims and thus participate in such hate crimes. I believe that people commit crimes, such as the ones perpetrated in the Cronulla riots because it makes them feel better about themselves. It makes the perpetrator feel significant and superior, thus driving a need to act with deviance. #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1230

Serena Barsby said : Guest Report 10 months ago

Interestingly Jack Katz suggests that people perpetrate property crimes due to either defilement of the sacred, a sexual climax or a ludic rush. He relates these qualities as thrills that ‘seduce’ an individual into committing crime. Katz goes on to discuss how a perpetrator will be in a kind of struggle between their inner and outer being to ensure the body does not “…reveal the secret deviance…” (p.63). Once successfully accomplishing such a crime the perpetrator has effectively performed a divergence of the private self (which is secretly perpetrating stigma) from the public self (which is on display and must carry out the skill of fooling shopping attendants). These notions that Katz describes about criminal deviance strikes close to home for me as I work as a service employee at Woolworths. On a daily basis my store easily loses hundreds of dollars (which increases to thousands around holidays). Before working in service I never knew just how common place stealing truly was. People who try to walk out of the store with items are usually stealing makeup, appliances or junk food. Thus most people actually do not steal out of necessity, instead it truly does appear that a large portion of perpetrators are seduced into the thrill of stealing just as Katz suggests. I have witnessed a man who claimed that the self serve machine had made a mistake and wasn’t displaying that he had paid for his items. This man came across self-righteous and opinionated. It soon came to light that this man was actually attempting to steal. The immediate shame that overtook this man’s persona was astonishing, he went from being angry and agitated at staff to being apologetic and extremely embarrassed. It really does seem in this case (and many others I have witnessed) that the trill of deviance seems to fuel the crime as they very rarely are stealing items that they truly need. Whilst committing the crime, the outer self is presented with anger and a strong sense of self-righteousness. The harsh juxtaposition between this stance and the embarrassed state of the inner self displays Kats notion that the outer self is a performance meant to project an exterior which appears innocent. It seems as though anger at staff for being ‘wrongly persecuted’ momentarily represses and hides the notions of shame and fear that the inner self is experiencing.

Liam Thomas said : Guest Report 10 months ago

The social determinants of crimes and deviant acts are multifaceted, and while the motivations for these behaviours can certainly be rooted in the perceived emotional thrills and seductions of crime, as suggested by Katz (1988), it is equally important, I believe, to consider that crime is also rooted in the pervasive inequalities suffered by the disadvantaged, such as the poor, the unemployed, and in some cases the mentally ill (Sarre, 2011, p. 145). In this way, we deviate from social and emotional norms not because we feel the desire to do so, but rather out of a sense of necessity. In this way, the deviance is not a social or emotional failing of the one who commits the crime, but rather of the social system that surrounds those deemed criminal, and that perpetuates their discrimination (Sarre, 2011, p. 156). In terms of emotions, these penal subjects are often defined in our society as risky or dangerous elements that threaten the social, eliciting fear in others. Perhaps it is this fear that leads to an emotional labelling of others, and moralisation as inherently criminal or deviant (Cunneen et al., 2013, p. 104-109). In regard to this, one should consider moral panics. Avoiding this moralisation, labelling or social shaming, the association with oneself as a member of a deviant other; this might indeed be an important factor behind why many individuals feel a compulsion to avoid performing criminal, deviant acts. #S344UOW18 #Tut8 #Mon1230

Grey Mein said : Guest Report 10 months ago

I believe that it is prudent to assess deviant emotions on micro and macro sociological levels. Katz’s article on the seduction of crime takes a more individual approach, by analysing the emotions felt by adolescents and young adults while committing sneaky thrills. He discusses the idea of transcendency – outwardly appearing calm, while privately enjoying a feeing of rebellion, anxiety (about being caught), or a thrill. The thrill is so seductive that he compares it to seduction and sensuality. These emotions are a driving force to commit deviant behaviours. Hage, however, takes a much more macro-sociological level view, to discuss and analyse collective emotions, such as those demonstrated by the participants of the Cronulla riots. In that situation, I believe that due to an Australian history of racist political policies, classist stereotypes, and social inequalities, our acclaimed country of multiculturalism is only thinly veiling a culture of monoculturalism. In other situations, it is vital to realise that deviant emotions are only labelled as deviant by the society they occur in. The moral code embedded within a society determines what behaviours are, or are not, appropriate to exhibit in public spheres, and this effects what emotions are invoked by a behaviour. Despite this, collective emotions and actions can also promote social change, seen in social movements (EG civil and human rights), or in extreme cases, revolutions. Again, these occur in a socio-political context without which they would be of far less value or necessity.

Samantha Mackay said : Guest Report 10 months ago

The reasons why individuals actively engage in deviant acts are complex. However, I align with Katz suggestion that we are ‘seduced’ into committing deviant actions due to three main categories: Ludic quality- the fun of the game, sexual quality- rush, build up and climax and defilement- the enjoyment of ruining the sacred. However, I think it is interesting to note that the ‘thrills’ of defiance often expresses ones hidden potential as individuals must fight against their bodies ‘feeling rules’ to ensure individuals get away with their deviance. Katz argues individuals “transcend an existential dilemma” to relate the inner to the outer identity, thus through successfully ‘surface acting’ individuals avoid public shame or embarrassment. Hence, the power of the ‘thrills’ of deviance increases when acts go publically unpunished as individuals avoid stigma, shame or embarrassment. Thus linking to Goffman and Hage the mass violence and anger of the Cronulla riots could be seen as getting away with surface acting as anger was externalized but in reality such anger was a result of internal fear. Globalization, 9/11, Bali and London bombings created a climate for anxiety, fear and anger to be accentuated as the ‘need’ to reclaim dominance over the ‘other’ in particular Muslim and Islamic individuals. Thus, to avoid the stigma of shame, fear, anxiety aligning with the ‘feeling rules’ such emotions where internalized. Thus the mass violence and anger that eventuated unveils that the build-up of such emotions can spark deviance as they manifested into externalized anger which then seduced further involvement as individuals bonded through the shared ‘thrills’ of said deviance. Ultimately is clear as Hage captures “the power of being in power is not to feel powerful but to assert your claim to be a victim powerfully”.

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