Crime And Deviance

Better Essays
In studying crimes and deviance, sociologists look to explain what types of behavior are defined as deviant as opposed to criminal, who defines deviant behaviors, why people become deviant, and how society deals with deviant behavior. Deviance is defined by sociologists are behavior that significantly goes against expected rules and norms. Criminal behavior is behavior that violates the law. Sociology studies groups as opposed to individuals, so when studying crime and deviance, sociologists are looking at the factors that influence groups as a whole to engage in crime and deviant behavior. In defining deviant behavior, the definition may vary throughout different groups. Not all groups of people will consider the same behaviors…show more content…
The functionalist perspective believes that each aspect of society is interdependent and makes the society function as a whole. Deviance may seem as though it is dysfunctional for society, but functionalists believe that deviance is necessary because it puts an emphasis on behaviors that are normal and creates a social standard for behavior. Symbolic internationalism is a sociological theory that uses symbols of everyday life. According to this theory, people attach meanings to symbols and act according to their interpretation of the symbols. Sociologists hold that the symbolic interaction theory shows that deviance and criminal behavior are attributed to the meanings surrounding deviance and how people view those meanings. The functionalist and symbolic theories focus on the positives of society. The third theory that sociologists use is the conflict theory. The conflict theory focuses on the negative aspects of society. Conflict theorists encourage social change. The conflict theory looks at how different groups of people compete against one another because of differing values. The functionalist theory interprets all parts of society: the functional and dysfunctional. Although crime and deviance may seem to be dysfunctional to society, they are important aspects of society because they help to create social norms and social order. Crime and
Get Access