Recently, I read an article, Ironies of Social Control: Authorities as Contributors to Deviance Through Escalation, Non-enforcement and Covert Facilitation, Marx, Gary (MIT). There are discussions of many key arguments that are within societies. Sometimes, we do not stop to think about these issues until it is too late and we are sitting in the court room with our loved one. Every society has a social deviant, and at times that deviant is actually a victim within themselves. There are times that society creates or deviant, without society admitting it or sometimes even realizing it.
The issue of deviance immediately caught my attention. It has been a topic that I have heard many different opinions upon in the first place as well as among different societies. Authorities in all societies play a key role in making sure that everyone abides the laws in order to keep peace. Also, there are some authorities that use the law for their benefit to single out a certain individual for either negative treatment or to avoid that individual of getting negative treatment. Some societies it depends on the status of the individual as well as the influence of that individual of the society.
Some societies would not publically persecute their sheriff for a crime as they may another individual within that society. The sheriff in some societies would get a lesser punishment under the table. Social control does bring up a controversy that at times encourages one to break the laws to begin with, as in the thoughts that they are not going to be caught. In the case of the sheriff, they already feel that they will get the lesser punishment in the first place.
An example is the police involvement in family conflicts, especially in domestic abuse. At times police will automatically chose to side with the female in the conflict. Often times the stereotyping of women not starting the aggressive fight and the male is what benefits some women to continue to start physical fights with their other half.
The female continues to cause the physical fights while it is the male that is punished as he is stereotyped to being bigger and more aggressive. One of the situations that this leads to is the depiction of some police officers aggression towards the male deviant to protect and serve the female of the scenario. The male deviant then in turn becomes aggressively defensive in the conflict that now arises with the police. Then in turn the police act against the aggression and the female in the conflict now appears to be the innocent.
In some situations it leads to a common incident of where the police are routinely involved as a form of control over the male counterpart by the female half of the relationship. The female already knows the results against the male from the information that she obtained from the previous encounter with the police. The police in turn remember how aggressive the male was and become ready for a battle in the conflict.
Many times the problem arises that there are those that choose deviance for the fact that they feel that they will not become caught. This is when the informant becomes quite important. FBI Former Director, NY Times, (1974) stated, “Without informants we’re nothing.”
It is the informant system that allows those that have broken the law and been caught to inform or rather tattle on the deviant that may be doing a worse crime than themselves. For an example, a chance to tattle on your boss in the organized crime scene would greatly benefit the lower employee of that organized crime.
Informants find the program beneficial as they receive a lesser sentence, their freedom or other offers for information. One of the biggest problems is the reliability of the informant giving the proper information or revealing any agent’s undercover for added benefits on the other side of the crime. This is why that many informants are already in jail rather than play the black mail on both sides of the table.
There are also times when the police allow the vigilante groups to do the work for them. It is usually a problem that the police should have taken care of, but as mentioned before there are times when one group will just eliminate the group that has caused the worst problems. Similar to acting as an informant they have now become more of an assistant.
One of the other methods that police do to find a deviant among society is to make a scenario. This is where they go into the streets and disguise themselves as common everyday civilians and members of other deviants.
Attractive female officers are often used for the trafficking of prostitution. Many find this trickery, but I truly feel that it is a good way to pull out the deviants from society. In some ways it is creating the crime for the deviant to test themselves in society terms of following the laws accordingly or, if they can resist the temptation of the easy prey or the element of not getting caught.
Many key issues in the article were debatable and in some incidents controversial. As the United States adapts to their sociological attitudes and laws as officers are trained to recognize deviants, in turn deviants are becoming well trained to recognizing authorities on all levels.