Chapter 6 Study Questions & Exercises

Deviance and Crime

Study Questions

  1. What is deviance? Outline overt and covert characteristics of deviance and provide examples to illustrate your answer.
  1. What does it mean that “deviance can be contested between cultures and within a culture”?
  1. How does Canada continue to racialize deviance? Make reference to multiculturalism, assimilation, and racial profiling. Provide examples to illustrate your answer.
  1. Why are women seen as inherently deviant in a patriarchal society?
  1. Within Canada, is homosexuality seen as deviant? If so, how are homosexual individuals sanctioned?
  1. Your textbook points out that due to ignorance we sanction people who are living with disabilities. What does this mean? Provide two examples to illustrate your answer.
  2. Briefly outline strain theory, subcultural theory, and labelling theory and explain the differences among the three in terms of how they explain the emergence of criminal deviance.
  1. What is the difference between occupational crime and corporate crime? Provide one example for each.
  1. Define class bias. Identify its role in assigning blame to the poor. How does Sutherland’s notion of “White Collar crime” rebut class bias?
  1. Take a trip on public transit and make notes on the types of behaviour deemed “deviant”.

Exploration and Discussion Exercises

  1. With key terms and information taken from the text, write about your views on deviance. Which is socially constructed deviance or conformity? How do definitions of deviance benefit society? How do they hurt it? How has deviance affected your life?
  1. With either an example from your life, someone else’s, or even something that you’ve seen in the media, consider the following question: Have you ever done something that you thought was normal, but quickly realized due to the reactions of other people that it was, in fact, deviant?
  1. Explore this website and consider how the content relates to cultural notions of deviance in Canada: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) website:

    On the left-hand side you will notice a number of tools for understanding society’s views of mental illness. One goal of CAMH is to promote better awareness and understanding of mental disorders and their treatment.