Crime, Deviance, Social Order And Social Control

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Different Definitions of: Crime, Deviance, Social order and Social control Crime is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘an action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.’ (Dictionary, 2015) Whereas deviance is failing to conform to the expectations held by society without necessarily breaking any laws. Criminal behaviour differs to deviant behaviour as a person can be deviant without committing a crime and vice versa, a person can be criminal without being deviant. For example, speeding is a criminal offense but is not considered abnormal or deviant behaviour as it is committed by the majority of people in society at some point. Likewise, if a man dresses as a woman in public they are considered to be deviating from society but are not breaking any laws and therefore are not criminal. This means that behaviour can be legal, without necessarily being acceptable in society. However, what is considered acceptable in society can change overtime as well as the removal and creation of certain laws. For example, over 50 years ago, homosexuality would have been stigmatised as well as illegal whereas nowadays it is legal and perfectly accepted by the majority in society although some homophobia does still exists. Social order is ‘the totality of structured human interrelationships in a society or a part of it.’ (Webster, 2015) These are the expectations of norms held by society that pressure people to behave in a certain way which keeps the peace within
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