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CHAPTER 6: Conformity, Deviance, and Crime
1. What sociological question is most important to keep in mind when considering deviance?
a. Who are the deviants and who are the conformists?
b. Why is the deviant so strange?
c. Whose rules are being broken?
d. How can we eliminate deviance?
Answer: C
2. Deviance is:
a. the same as crime
b. viewed positively by all groups
c. defined the same across different cultures
d. the absence of conformity
Answer: D
3. Which of the following would sociologists consider the best definition of deviance?
a. actions that are harmful to society
b. violations of social norms
c. criminal activities
d. immoral or unethical behaviors
Answer: B
4. Sociological study of deviance tends to focus on:
a. crime
b. mental illness
c. political corruption
d. the extremely wealthy
Answer: A
5. Hackers are:
a. portrayed in the news media as computer enthusiasts
b. conformists to societal standards of right and wrong
c. participants in a deviant subculture

d. not considered dangerous by legal authorities
Answer: C
6. What do sociologists call a group such as the Heaven’s Gate cult, which existed by
following some social norms but had many of its own that were considered strange by most
a. a deviant subculture
b. a deviating normative group
c. a social aggregate
d. a social control
Answer: A
7. What do computer hackers and members of white supremacist groups have in common?
a. they combine racist ideology with economic conservatism
b. they comprise a deviant subculture
c. they restrict membership to men and exclude women
d. they are apolitical and work only for social change
Answer: B
8. When a professor is delivering a lecture and some students begin to whisper back and
forth, the professor may cease the lecture and remain silent. The professor’s behavior is an
example of:
a. deviant behavior
b. role-playing
c. civil inattention
d. negative sanction
Answer: D
9. Any reaction from others to the behavior of an individual meant to ensure that individual
complies with a given norm is called a:
a. reward
b. sanction
c. response cry
d. punishment
Answer: B
10. Sanctions applied by a specific organization or agency, such as a judge, are:

a. informal
b. formal
c. positive
d. negative
Answer: B
11. Today using the wrong fork to eat a salad at a dinner party does not usually qualify as
deviance. Why not?
a. That sort of norm violation is seen as an intentional rebellion against convention.
b. Most dinners are eaten with friends, who do not apply sanctions for deviant behavior.
c. There are no norms governing food and eating.
d. It is not a serious enough norm violation to provoke sanctions.
Answer: D
12. What do we call norm violations that are codified into law?
a. crimes
b. deviance
c. sanctions
d. anomie
Answer: A
13. Formal sanctions defined by governments as principles their citizens must follow are
a. laws
b. crimes
c. positive reinforcement
d. negative reinforcement
Answer: A
14. Withdrawn, emotionless characters who delight in violence for its own sake are known as:
a. psychopaths
b. endomorphs
c. ectomorphs
d. megalomaniacs
Answer: A

15. Which of the following do NOT place the source of deviant behavior within the
a. biologists
b. psychologists
c. sociologists
d. psychiatrists
Answer: C
16. The key emphasis of sociological analysis of deviance is that:
a. only emotionally disturbed individuals commit deviant acts
b. behavior varies according to social context
c. deviance is most likely genetically inherited
d. deviance is an uncontrollable reaction
Answer: B
17. Sociological research and theory suggest that:
a. the problem of crime and deviance could easily be solved by building more prisons and
increasing incarceration rates
b. deviance is primarily an inborn character trait and could be eliminated by genetic
c. crime and deviance are rooted in the structure of society, including poverty, urban
conditions, and the crises faced by many young men
d. high crime rates are the price we pay for encouraging freedom and nonconformity
Answer: C
18. You may feel a little uncertain about how to behave around others at a birthday party for
someone you do not know. Émile Durkheim and other sociologists would describe your
feelings as:
a. paranoia
b. anomie
c. dysfunction
d. deviance
Answer: B
19. Which of the following describes how deviance can be explained from the functionalist
a. Deviance breaks down social cohesion and leads to revolution.

b. Deviance makes it easier for the upper class to control the poor.
c. Deviance helps the upper class maintain power and influence in society.
d. Deviance clarifies moral boundaries and affirms norms.
Answer: D
20. When a politician is caught cheating on his or her spouse, there are usually serious
consequences, and sometimes the politician is forced to resign from office when his or her
constituents loudly express their unhappiness with such behavior. According to Émile
Durkheim, what function does this reaction serve?
a. It helps to deter politicians from cheating in the future.
b. It helps to clarify moral boundaries, reinforcing the idea that marital infidelity is wrong.
c. The anger and public outcry helps to rehabilitate the offender, so that he or she will not
give in to the temptation to cheat in the future.
d. Being forced out of office prevents him or her from ever cheating again.
Answer: B
21. Which of the following is a positive function of deviant behavior?
a. When a student sees his or her classmate cheating on an exam but refuses to do so him- or
herself, it clarifies his or her adherence to social norms.
b. When a community is struck by arsonists, the neighborhood finds and beats up the culprits.
c. Immediately following the attacks of September 11, 2001, racial profiling became more
d. When Elvis Presley and others introduced pelvic gyrations into musical performances, they
led to the way to how rock ’n’ roll music is performed today.
Answer: A
22. According to Robert Merton, one of the principle reasons people turn to deviant behavior
in the United States is that:
a. there are a lot of people with inborn antisocial tendencies
b. the goal of success is shared by a majority of people, but not everyone has equal means to
achieve that goal
c. deviant behavior has become glamorized in the media and therefore becomes increasingly
attractive to young people
d. Deviant behavior has become so widespread that many people think it is normal
Answer: B
23. What word would Robert Merton use to characterize organized crime members?
a. conformists

b. innovators
c. ritualists
d. rebels
Answer: B
24. In the movie Office Space, the character Peter Gibbons spends much of the movie trying
to find unconventional and even illegal ways of making more money. According to Robert
Merton’s typology, what category does Peter fit into?
a. ritualist
b. rebel
c. innovator
d. retreatist
Answer: C
25. If you decide that you could never get into a good school and so could never get a good
job, you might decide to sell crack cocaine instead as a way to earn a living. According to
Robert Merton, what sort of deviant would you be?
a. a conformist
b. a ritualist
c. an innovator
d. a rebel
Answer: C
26. According to Robert Merton, people who reject existing values and the means of
achieving them in favor of creating new values and a reconstructed social system are:
a. rebels
b. innovators
c. ritualists
d. retreatists
Answer: A
27. According to Robert Merton, which of the following offers the best explanation for
deviant behavior?
a. the physical characteristics of the individual
b. the psychological traits of the individual
c. the racial characteristics of the individual

d. economic inequalities
Answer: D
28. What would be a valid criticism of functionalists like Robert Merton, Albert Cohen,
Richard A. Cloward, and Lloyd E. Ohlin?
a. They assume that all members of society hold middle-class values.
b. They pay too much attention to white-collar crime.
c. They blame the victim in assuming that biological characteristics cause deviance.
d. They fail to make connections between conformity and deviance in different social
Answer: A
29. Who used the concept of “delinquent subculture” to refer to groups such as gangs that
reject middle-class norms and celebrate deviance?
a. Albert Cohen
b. Robert Merton
c. Edwin Lemert
d. Travis Hirschi
Answer: A
30. If you live in a high-crime area, you may befriend people who are involved in criminal
activities, thus increasing your opportunity to learn criminal behavior. This theory is known
a. labeling
b. social deviance
c. nonconformity
d. differential association
Answer: D
31. According to Edwin Sutherland, criminals adopt criminal behavior because they:
a. are genetically predisposed to criminal activity
b. transfer their emotional issues to criminal behavior
c. are exposed to environments that encourage illegal activity
d. respond to rewards and punishments
Answer: C
32. Which of the following is an example of a sociological explanation for deviant behavior?

a. The physical characteristics of criminals help explain their behavior; for example, muscular
men are more likely to commit crimes than less muscular men.
b. Withdrawn individuals are more often lone deviants, whereas gregarious individuals lean
more toward gang behavior.
c. By understanding the family’s history, we can predict who will become deviant and who
will become normal.
d. Criminal behavior arises when people associate with deviants and learn their norms.
Answer: D
33. The parents of a deviant child often want to find some way to excuse their offspring’s
behavior, and it is common to hear them say, “He just fell in with a bad crowd.” Which
theory of deviance does this explanation most closely resemble?
a. differential association
b. labeling theory
c. self-fulfilling prophecy
d. functionalist theory
Answer: A
34. The idea that individuals learn to be deviant by interacting with others who are already
deviant is called:
a. conflict theory
b. self-fulfilling prophecy
c. secondary deviance
d. differential association
Answer: D
35. Nowhere to Grow by Les Whitbeck and Dan Hoyt explores the lives of homeless and
runaway teens in the Midwest. The authors found that “associating with deviant peers” had a
dramatic effect on a wide range of deviant behaviors, including increasing “the likelihood of
serious substance abuse almost 32 times.” What theory of deviance considers the way that
such interpersonal relationships help to predict deviant behavior?
a. self-fulfilling prophecy
b. secondary deviance
c. conflict theory
d. differential association
Answer: D

36. When a parent argues that his or her child has simply fallen in with a bad crowd, what
theory of deviance is he or she expressing?
a. labeling theory
b. functionalism
c. conflict theory
d. differential association theory
Answer: D
37. Which of the following explanations for NOT cheating on this exam is supported by
control theory?
a. None of your friends cheat, so you never really learned how to cheat.
b. You know that cheating is morally reprehensible.
c. You always receive an “A” on exams, so you have no reason to cheat.
d. You sit in the front of the class and are afraid of getting caught.
Answer: D
38. With which of the following statements might a conflict theorist most closely agree?
a. Deviants are born into a culture that rewards criminal behavior.
b. The best method to understand deviant behavior is to understand the conflict between the
individual’s ego, superego, and id.
c. Powerful groups label individuals as deviants as a way to control those who are less
d. Deviant behavior results from deviants associating with other deviants.
Answer: C
39. Theorists of the new criminology view laws as:
a. the means by which the elite maintain their positions of power in society
b. the means by which the masses can maintain majority rule
c. preordained and absolute
d. the means by which the underprivileged can gain a position of power
Answer: A
40. Because laws represent the interests of those in power, crimes committed by the upper
classes are typically treated more leniently than crimes committed by the lower classes. This
argument is consistent with:
a. differential association theory

b. conflict theory
c. labeling theory
d. functionalist theory
Answer: B
41. Karl believes that our criminal law excuses big corporations from polluting the planet,
manufacturing unsafe products, and manipulating prices. At the same time, he sees homeless
people imprisoned for stealing food. What perspective has Karl taken to explain the workings
of society?
a. functionalist
b. symbolic interactionist
c. conflict theory
d. psychological
Answer: C
42. What theory argues that punishments for rule violators are unequally distributed, with
those near the top of society subject to more lenient rules and sanctions than those at the
a. symbolic interactionism
b. labeling theory
c. conflict theory
d. functionalist theory
Answer: C
43. With which of the following theories would Marxist theorists be the most intellectually
a. functionalism
b. conflict theory
c. cultural capital theory
d. differential association theory
Answer: B
44. Labeling theory is a useful tool to explain deviant behavior; however, it fails to explain
deviant behavior performed by:
a. criminals from lower-class communities
b. corporate executives
c. teenage gangs

d. poor ethnic minorities
Answer: B
45. In the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one of the patients in the mental hospital
tells the other patients that they are not crazy and that they should not act as though they were
crazy just because the head nurse says that they are. Which of the following theories best
explains the patients’ behavior?
a. differential association
b. labeling
c. structural strain
d. anomie
Answer: B
46. In Edwin Lemert’s version of labeling theory, the initial violation of social norms is
a. anomie
b. structural strain
c. primary deviation
d. initiation
Answer: C
47. According to Edwin Lemert, when a person accepts a label and sees him- or herself as
deviant, he or she engages in:
a. anomie
b. structural strain
c. primary deviation
d. secondary deviation
Answer: D
48. Which is probably the most widely used sociological theory analyzing deviance and
a. differential association
b. labeling
c. structural strain
d. anomie
Answer: B

49. Under what circumstances does a deviant label lead from primary to secondary deviance?
a. when the deviant label is applied by a large number of people
b. when the deviant label is applied by someone very powerful
c. when the deviant label is accepted by the individual
d. when the deviant label is applied later in life
Answer: C
50. A person arrived at a company party dressed in a bunny costume, only to discover that the
party was not a costume party. From then on everyone saw him as crazy and eccentric, and
eventually he also came to think of himself in this way. The initial mistake at the party is an
example of:
a. primary deviance
b. secondary deviance
c. self-fulfilling prophecy
d. anomie
Answer: A
51. What do sociologists call a prediction that came true only because the prediction was
a. differential association
b. labeling
c. self-fulfilling prophecy
d. anomie
Answer: C
52. How does the uniform crime report measure crime?
a. A random sample of citizens are asked what crimes they have been the victims of in the last
12 months.
b. A random sample of police officers are asked what crime levels they have observed.
c. Crimes reported by law enforcement agencies across the United States are tabulated.
d. Insurance claims are examined to see what damage was caused by crime.
Answer: C
53. The vast majority of crimes come to the attention of the police in response to citizen
complaints. If citizens do not think a crime is serious enough or feel that nothing can be done,
they do not usually bother to inform the authorities. This means that there might be serious
biases in the:

a. symbolic interactionist theory of deviance
b. way that conflict theorists understand deviance
c. criminal justice system
d. uniform crime report
Answer: D
54. The National Crime Victimization Survey has found that crime rates are:
a. higher than those reported by official agencies
b. lower than those reported by official agencies
c. about the same as those reported by official agencies, confirming the accuracy of those
d. based solely on reports of misdemeanor offenses and not serious crimes
Answer: A
55. Rank the following locations in terms of violent crime rates, from highest to lowest:
a. smaller towns, cities, suburbs
b. cities, smaller towns, suburbs
c. cities, suburbs, smaller towns
d. suburbs, cities, smaller towns
Answer: C
56. What is the most likely explanation for why violent crime is so prevalent in the United
States in contrast to other Western societies?
a. the widespread availability of firearms
b. a larger deviant population
c. the glamorizing of violence and crime on television and in movies
d. more young people who are likely to commit crimes
Answer: A
57. Who are the most common victims of murder and other violent crimes?
a. older, white, middle-class, suburban females
b. older, white, wealthy, rural males
c. young, Hispanic, poor, urban females
d. young, African American, urban males
Answer: D

58. If a female lawbreaker avoids punishment or prosecution by convincing authorities that
she is impulsive and in need of protection, she has invoked the:
a. chivalry thesis
b. gender contract
c. Pollack approach
d. “nice girl” argument
Answer: B
59. Crime carried out by more affluent members of society is called:
a. organized
b. white collar
c. networked
d. necktie
Answer: B
60. Which of the following is NOT an example of corporate crime?
a. A pesticide company dumps pollutants into the local river.
b. Food manufacturers label an item as “light” when in fact it has as many calories as the
regular item.
c. Automobile companies manufacture a vehicle that has a high probability of explosion on
impact with another object.
d. A stockbroker misleads clients about the level of risk associated with certain investments
so that he or she can increase his or her own profits.
Answer: D
61. Forms of activity that have some of the characteristics of legitimate business but are
actually illegal are called:
a. organized crime
b. white-collar crime
c. criminal networks
d. necktie crime
Answer: A
62. Why has illegal drug use in the United States continued to escalate even though billions
of dollars have been spent to curb its use?

a. Globalization has enabled drug traffickers to use all of today’s communication
technologies to evade the authorities and to move large sums of money across the world in a
matter of seconds.
b. Some people are genetically deviant and their numbers are growing as more and more
people become addicted to drugs.
c. The Russian Mafia has corrupted the U.S. officials in charge of the so-called war on drugs.
d. Drug users are mostly political neophytes who enjoy taunting the legal system.
Answer: A
63. Which country puts the highest number of people per capita in prison?
a. Russia
b. China
c. Cuba
d. United States
Answer: D
64. Which of the following best describes Americans’ beliefs about capital punishment?
a. The majority of Americans have always supported killing convicted criminals.
b. Americans’ beliefs about capital punishment are similar to the beliefs of Europeans.
c. The percentage supporting the death penalty has nearly doubled in the past 40 years.
d. Fewer Americans support capital punishment today than a generation ago.
Answer: C
65. Sociological studies show that prisons are:
a. effective at deterring crime
b. more likely to create hardened criminals than rehabilitated citizens
c. actually attractive and pleasant places to live
d. less expensive to operate than previously reported
Answer: B
66. Which of the following most accurately describes the number of people in U.S. prisons?
a. Because of the excellent job the prisons are doing in rehabilitating inmates, the number of
people incarcerated in the United States continues to decline.
b. The United States may have more people in prison than other countries, but it has a larger
population than other countries.

c. The proportion of ethnic prisoners in any state resembles the proportion of ethnic citizens
in that state.
d. The number of people in U.S. prisons is more than twice that of South Africa.
Answer: D
67. Sociologist Devah Pager conducted an experiment to evaluate the relationships between
race, criminal record, and employment practices. Who of the following was the least likely to
be hired?
a. a white man with no criminal record
b. a white woman with a criminal record
c. a black man with no criminal record
d. a black woman with no criminal record
Answer: C
68. Traditionally, police work involved controlling crime; however, police officers are
a. deviants; committing rather than preventing crime
b. corrections officers; herding criminals to prison
c. knowledge workers; mapping and predicting risk within the population
d. safety patrollers; guarding the health and welfare of citizens
Answer: C
69. Which of the following contributed to the decline of crime rates in the 1990s?
a. aggressive law enforcement
b. a rise in the crack cocaine epidemic in urban areas
c. the economic recession of the 1990s
d. television documentaries about crime and criminal behavior
Answer: A
70. Which theory of crime contends that any sign of social disorder in a community
encourages more serious crime to flourish?
a. differential association
b. structural strain
c. labeling
d. broken windows
Answer: D

71. Which of the following is NOT an unintended consequence of target hardening?
a. Because the wealthy are protected from crime, there is a declining interest in understanding
the causes of crime.
b. Criminals target less affluent areas that cannot afford the protective measures to combat
c. Poor communities become more cohesive to defend themselves from criminal activity.
d. The crime rates against the poor and the wealthy widen, with the burden of crime falling
disproportionately on the poor.
Answer: C
72. Car alarms are examples of:
a. anomie
b. labeling
c. deviance
d. target hardening
Answer: D
1. According to sociologists, most normal people have never engaged in any acts of deviance.
Answer: False
2. Most people at some point engage in behavior that could be considered deviant.
Answer: True
3. Deviance is an objective or unchanging phenomenon that transcends culture, history, and
situational context.
Answer: False
4. Deviance is always defined the same way, regardless of the historical, cultural, or
situational context.
Answer: False
5. Even “deviant” groups have their own norms to which members are expected to conform.
Answer: True
6. The term “sanction” refers only to responses meant to punish nonconformity.
Answer: False
7. Evidence supporting the biological view of the causes of deviance has shown a direct
genetic link between physical traits and violent behavior.

Answer: False
8. Someone who is considered a hero, such as a successful spy, might possess character traits
that are considered psychopathic.
Answer: True
9. The context in which behavior occurs often makes the difference in whether it is
considered deviant or criminal.
Answer: True
10. According to Émile Durkheim’s functionalist theory, the function of deviance is to help
clarify moral boundaries and affirm social norms.
Answer: True
11. The differential association theory of deviance focuses on peer pressure and “bad
influences” to show how deviance is a process of social learning.
Answer: True
12. According to the sociologist Howard Becker, there are no inherently deviant acts, only
societal reactions to acts that make them deviant.
Answer: True
13. Labeling theory begins from the assumption that all deviant acts are intrinsically criminal.
Answer: False
14. According to labeling theory, deviance is defined as an act or attribute that is inherently
wrong, bad, or abnormal.
Answer: False
15. According to labeling theory, the labels that people are given affect their own and others’
perceptions of them, thus channeling their behavior either into deviance or conformity.
Answer: True
16. Men and women are about equally likely to commit crimes.
Answer: True
17. The peak age among young people for committing crimes is around age 18 to 19.
Answer: True
18. The amount of money involved in crimes against property is 40 times greater than the
amount involved in white-collar crimes.
Answer: False
19. White-collar crime is essentially nonviolent, since it does not physically harm or kill
Answer: False

20. Since 1991, rates of violent crime have decreased significantly in the United States.
Answer: True

Test Bank for Essentials of Sociology
Anthony Giddens, Mitchell Duneier, Richard P Appelbaum, Deborah Carr
9780393932379, 9780393674088, 9780393937459, 9780393918830

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