Comparative Deviance represents a systematic attempt to survey public perceptions of deviant behavior cross-culturally: in India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Yugoslavia, and the United States. There is extensive diversity in both law and perception concerning such deviances as taking drugs, homosexuality, and abortion, yet there is evidence for a basically invariant structure in perception of deviance across all cultures. Within the countries studied in this volume, Graeme Newman discovers that the strength of religious belief and urban rural background accounted for major differences in the perception of deviancewhen differences were identified.
Contrary to popular academic opinion in the United States, Newman finds that those countries with the most liberal laws on deviance (i.e., the least punitive sanctions) are also those highly economically developed and least totalitarian (United States and Italy). But when public opinion is considered, the public favors harsher punishments than the law provides. In contrast, in the developing countries of India, Iran and Indonesia, where penal sanctions are more severe, public opinion is much more liberal. The crucial question is the role criminal law plays in the process of modernization: whether law is a stable cultural influence, round which public opinion wavers in a startling fashion, depending on the stage of modernization.
These findings challenge many assumptions of conflict theory in sociology, of cultural relativism in anthropology, and of ethical relativism in moral philosophy. All findings are examined in relation to research on modernization, social development, and the evolution of law. These fundamental issues are thus important to many different disciplines across the board.
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)|
About the Author
Graeme Newman (Editor, Translator) is distinguished teaching professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York-Albany, and was a consultant for the Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Division of the United Nations. Marvin E. Wolfgang was professor of criminology at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He is known best for expanding the fi eld of criminology by studying data and patterns of crime and violence instead of focusing on psychological studies of the criminal mind.
Graeme Newman (Editor, Translator) is distinguished teaching professor in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York-Albany, and was a consultant for the Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Division of the United Nations.
Table of ContentsIntroduction to the Transaction Edition ix
Foreword Martin Wolfgang xix
Paradigmatic Origins of the Research 1
Deviance, the Public and the Criminal Law 9
Foundations of Deviance Perception 28
Measuring Perceptions of Deviance Cross-Culturally 52
The Sampling of Cultures 69
Comparative Perceptions of Deviance 113
The Structure of Deviance Perception 154
Sociological Correlates of Deviance Perception 188
The Criminal Law and Its Sanctions in Six Cultures 212
Subcultural Perceptions of Deviance 249
Conclusions: Towards Unity ... and Diversity 277