SAGE Journal Articles
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Turk's theory of norm resistance describes how authority relations can be structured in ways that hold different probabilities of overt conflict between subjects and authorities. His theory is premised on social norms of deference. This article develops Turk's argument by advancing hypotheses about how deference by race and age reinforces or undermines the positional authority of police and affects the probability of conflict with citizens. Domestic disturbance cases in which police-citizen conflict occurred are contrasted with a systematic sample of domestic cases in which no conflict is recorded. The authors find that resistance is more likely when race and age deference norms counter the positional authority of officers. These reversals predict conflict even after controls are introduced into a multivariate model.
Theorist Austin Turk focused on the use of law as a social control agent. Specifically, Turk believed that the police control the law and therefore they are often justified in using force or violence. This research compared 66 instances of norm resistance (deviance) with 71 cases of no resistance to see whether the situations were structured differently.
Questions to Consider:
- How do the researchers define “norm resistance”?
- Deference implies submission to the judgment of a superior out of respect for their position. Do the outcomes of this study support the definition of deference? Explain.
- Apply this research and its variables to recent reports of police brutality and violence.
Article 2: Neville, H. A., Coleman, M. N., Falconer, J. W., & Holmes, D. (2005). Color-blind racial ideology and psychological false consciousness among African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 31, 27-45.
The relations between color-blind racial beliefs (i.e., denial and distortion of the existence of racism) and dimensions of PFC (i.e., false beliefs that serve to work against one’s individual or group interest) among 211 African Americans was investigated. Findings indicated that greater endorsement of color-blind racial beliefs was related to the three dimensions of PFC investigated, including higher levels of (a) victim blame attributions of racial inequality, (b) internalized oppression, and (c) justification of social roles or social dominance orientation. K-means cluster analysis among all variables was used to identify racial ideology types. Results suggested that the three multivariate types uncovered—racialized egalitarian consciousness, structural psychological false consciousness, and psychological false consciousness—were differentially related to system blame attributions and out-group friendship preferences. Implications of the findings and future directions are discussed.
The researchers apply Cooley’s “looking glass self” and Goffman’s “presentation of self” to racial self-identification.
Questions to Consider:
- What is the “one drop rule”?
- President Barack Obama is biracial. What do you think would have been the result if he chose to self-identify as White? Explain.
- Discuss how being “color blind”, regardless of race, relates to conflict theory.
In this article, the authors demonstrate how they modified a well-known game to use it as an educational simulation to help students understand difficult material, specifically critical theory. The goals for the simulation focus on improving the comprehension levels of critical theory for students in a course on the Sociology of Deviance, although lessons about inequality are inescapable. This article uses a modified version of the board game MONOPOLY, in an undergraduate deviance class (N = 39). The results are based on responses to an assessment and performance in the class through participation in a written work. The results show that students appear to have an improved grasp of critical theory and display higher levels of confidence when discussing critical theory in class after completing the simulation.
Because critical theories such as Marxism are difficult for students to grasp, college professors use games such as Monopoly to simulate capitalism and the distribution of wealth.
Questions to Consider:
- How is the game of Monopoly altered to replicate a stratified system?
- How do note that the students display deviant behavior?
- Explain how the version of Monopoly described in the article reflects situations in the “real world”.