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NCJ Number: 119402 Find in a Library
Title: Religion and Deviance: A New Look (From Crime, Values, and Religion, P 111-120, 1987, James M Day and William S Laufer, eds. -- See NCJ-119399)
Author(s): R Stark
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Ablex Publishing Corporation
Norwood, NJ 07648
Sale Source: Ablex Publishing Corporation
355 Chestnut Street
Norwood, NJ 07648
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: It is contended that the effects of religion on deviance can be predicted if they are studied from a sociological rather than a psychological perspective.
Abstract: Several studies are cited to demonstrate the lack of a relation between religious beliefs and deviance. The author therefore hypothesizes that life is social and that daily interaction with friends implicates people in conformity. If religion is conceived as a group property from a sociological viewpoint, then religion does limit delinquency. Sociological theories are needed to explain morality, and these theories require that research be based on sociological units of analysis rather than on an examination of individual traits. The test of the moral integration thesis rests on demonstrating that religion prevents acts of criminal nonconformity. It is recognized, however, that some deviance reflects a conscious exit from the moral order. Available data, for example, suggest that most homicides and assaults are acts of momentary impulse. This explains why these crime rates are not correlated with social and moral integration; no stakes in conformity can restrain the behavior of people who act without stopping to think. It is concluded that religion produces conformity with moral and legal norms only to the extent that people consciously weigh alternatives. 31 references.
Main Term(s): Religion
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Deviance; Society-crime relationships
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