Sociology 07 Deviance, Crime, Social Control MCQ

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Over the past decade, a grassroots effort to raise awareness of certain political issues has gained in popularity. As a result, Tea Party groups have popped up in nearly every community across the country. The followers of the Tea Party have charged themselves with calling “awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty, or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation, the United States of America” (Tea Party, Inc. 2014). The group takes its name from the famous so-called Tea Party that occurred in Boston Harbor in 1773. Its membership includes people from all walks of life who are taking a stand to protect their values and beliefs. Their beliefs tend to be anti-tax, anti-big government, pro-gun, and generally politically conservative.

Their political stance is supported by what they refer to as their “15 Non-Negotiable Core Beliefs.”

  1. Illegal aliens are here illegally.
  2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.
  3. A strong military is essential.
  4. Special interests must be eliminated.
  5. Gun ownership is sacred.
  6. Government must be downsized.
  7. The national budget must be balanced.
  8. Deficit spending must end.
  9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal.
  10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must.
  11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory.
  12. Political office must be available to average citizens.
  13. Intrusive government must be stopped.
  14. English as our core language is required.
  15. Traditional family values are encouraged.

Tea Party politicians have been elected to several offices at the national, state, and local levels. In fact, Alabama, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas all had pro-Tea Party members win seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. On the national stage, Tea Partiers are actively seeking the impeachment of President Barrack Obama for what they refer to “flagrant violations,” including forcing national healthcare (Obamacare) on the country, gun grabbing, and failing to protect victims of the terror attack on U.S. diplomatic offices in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.

At the local level, Tea Party supporters have taken roles as mayors, county commissioners, city council members, and the like. In a small, rural, Midwestern county with a population of roughly 160,000, the three county commissioners who oversee the operation and administration of county government were two Republicans and a Democrat for years. During the 2012 election, the Democrat lost his seat to an outspoken Tea Party Republican who campaigned as pro-gun and fiscally conservative. He vowed to reduce government spending and shrink the size of county government.

A photo of a crowd of people standing in front of the Tea Party Express Bus outside of the state capitol building for a rally
The national tour of the Tea Party Express visited Minnesota and held a rally outside the state capitol building. (Photo courtesy of Fibonacci Blue/flickr)

Groups like political parties are prevalent in our lives and provide a significant way we understand and define ourselves—both groups we feel a connection to and those we don’t. Groups also play an important role in society. As enduring social units, they help foster shared value systems and are key to the structure of society as we know it. There are three primary sociological perspectives for studying groups: Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist. We can look at the Tea Party movement through the lenses of these methods to better understand the roles and challenges that groups offer.

The Functionalist perspective is a big-picture, macro-level view that looks at how different aspects of society are intertwined. This perspective is based on the idea that society is a well-balanced system with all parts necessary to the whole, and it studies the roles these parts play in relation to the whole. In the case of the Tea Party Movement, a Functionalist might look at what macro-level needs the movement serves. For example, a Structural Functionalist might ask how the party forces people to pay attention to the economy.

The Conflict perspective is another macroanalytical view, one that focuses on the genesis and growth of inequality. A conflict theorist studying the Tea Party Movement might look at how business interests have manipulated the system over the last 30 years, leading to the gross inequality we see today. Or this perspective might explore how the massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the upper class could lead to a two-class system reminiscent of Marxist ideas.

A third perspective is the Symbolic Interaction or Interactionist perspective. This method of analyzing groups takes a micro-level view. Instead of studying the big picture, these researchers look at the day-to-day interactions of groups. Studying these details, the Interactionist looks at issues like leadership style and group dynamics. In the case of the Tea Party Movement, Interactionists might ask, “How does the group dynamic in New York differ from that in Atlanta?” Or, “What dictates who becomes the de facto leader in different cities—geography, social dynamics, economic circumstances?”

References

Cabrel, Javier. 2011. “NOFX - Occupy LA.” LAWeekly.com , November 28. Retrieved February 10, 2012 ( [link] ).

Tea Party, Inc. 2014. "Tea Party." Retrieved December 11, 2014 (http://www.teaparty.org).


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Sociology 07 Deviance, Crime, Social Control
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Sample Questions from the Sociology 07 Deviance, Crime, Social Control MCQ Quiz

Question: Shaw and McKay found that crime is linked primarily to ________.

Choices:

power

master status

family values

wealth

Question: A student has a habit of talking on her cell phone during class. One day, the professor stops his lecture and asks her to respect the other students in the class by turning off her phone. In this situation, the professor used __________ to maintain social control.

Choices:

Informal negative sanctions

Informal positive sanctions

Formal negative sanctions

Formal positive sanctions

Question: According to social disorganization theory, crime is most likely to occur where?

Choices:

A community where neighbors don't know each other very well

A neighborhood with mostly elderly citizens

A city with a large minority population

A college campus with students who are very competitive

Question: According to the concept of the power elite, why would a celebrity such as Charlie Sheen commit a crime?

Choices:

Because his parents committed similar crimes

Because his fame protects him from retribution

Because his fame disconnects him from society

Because he is challenging socially accepted norms

Question: According to C. Wright Mills, which of the following people is most likely to be a member of the power elite?

Choices:

A war veteran

A senator

A professor

A mechanic

Question: One day, you decide to wear pajamas to the grocery store. While you shop, you notice people giving you strange looks and whispering to others. In this case, the grocery store patrons are demonstrating _______.

Choices:

deviance

formal sanctions

informal sanctions

positive sanctions

Question: A student wakes up late and realizes her sociology exam starts in five minutes. She jumps into her car and speeds down the road, where she is pulled over by a police officer. The student explains that she is running late, and the officer lets her off with a warning. The student's actions are an example of _________.

Choices:

primary deviance

positive deviance

secondary deviance

master deviance

Question: During the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks and other black protestors spoke out against segregation by refusing to sit at the back of the bus. This is an example of ________.

Choices:

An act of social control

An act of deviance

A social norm

Criminal mores

Question: Societies practice social control to maintain ________.

Choices:

formal sanctions

social order

cultural deviance

sanction labeling

Question: A convicted sexual offender is released on parole and arrested two weeks later for repeated sexual crimes. How would labeling theory explain this?

Choices:

The offender has been labeled deviant by society and has accepted a new master status.

The offender has returned to his old neighborhood and so reestablished his former habits.

The offender has lost the social bonds he made in prison and feels disconnected from society.

The offender is poor and responding to the different cultural values that exist in his community.

Question: Which of the following best describes how deviance is defined?

Choices:

Deviance is defined by federal, state, and local laws.

Deviance's definition is determined by one's religion.

Deviance occurs whenever someone else is harmed by an action.

Deviance is socially defined.

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