Internationally the act of deviance is being practiced daily. Sometimes is knowingly and unknowingly, the culture, or the society norms. Right or wrong is a prospective, deviance basically a judgmental call. “It is important to remember that when sociologists use the term deviant they are making a social judgment, never a moral one” (Ferris, Stein page 156.) There are three way that you can view deviance from a sociologist’s standpoint, which are, Functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. All three allow us to take an outlook on how to view the act of deviance.
“Deviance in sociological context describes actions or behaviors that violate cultural norms including formally-enacted rules (e.g., crime) as well as informal violations of social norms.”
In any and every society, there is a level of deviance or crime, no matter how big or small. Deviance is when the norms of a society are disregarded, while crime is when there is a defiance of laws within a society. Individuals who are deviant tend to be nonconforming to the society in which they live, challenging social expectations and deviating from what is considered the norm. Meanwhile, crime is a form of deviance that also discards norms, but in a way that breaks the laws of a certain society or community. When looking at deviance and crime in a micro-level perspective, there are three different theories often used to analyze the reasoning for both in a society. These theories include the Differential Association Theory, the Control Theory and the Labeling Theory. In further dissecting these theories, one can gain a greater insight into the workings of society.
Conformity and deviance are two responses to real or imagined pressures from others. In order for a society to function smoothly, it must have social order; although, that does not mean that all members will behave as expected to all the time. When a person fails to conform to the social norms of society, social deviation arises and some people may react differently than others.
There exists conflicting theories among sociologists in the area of determining why a person is considered to be a deviant, and the reasons behind why he or she has committed a deviant act. From a positivistic perspective, deviance is based on biological or social determinism. Alternatively, from a constructionist perspective, deviance is created and assigned by society. Both perspectives seek to give a theory for why a person may become known as deviant. Although they both view similar acts as deviant, the basic differences between positivists and constructionists theories are clear.
A cross-cultural examination of certain deviant acts surface interesting observations of both the root of function of deviance in that given society. This observation will illustrate how the ways in which deviance is viewed in a specific culture is not universal. The author also touches upon how the “concept of normal” is equated with the “concept of good”; therefore, by consequence, anything remotely outside this pre-established box is viewed in a negative manner (Benedict 1934:4). The category of deviance is employed by society as a strategic means of reducing diversity, maintaining order and above else, upholding the social norm. Individuals who threaten this system are immediately labeled as evil wrongdoers who are then treated differently on every level. A further scholar, Erikson, compares the social system to a “nucleus, “which” draws the behavior of actors toward [itself] within range of basic norms,” (Erikson 1962: 309). This analogy provides powerful imagery of how the social system functions and the reason for why deviance is seen as such a threatening act. He further draws a comparison between the law and the norm arguing that both are reinforced by consistently being “used as a basis for judgment,” (Erikson 1962: 310). The entanglement of
Many people may disapprove of certain things in life that we may have second thoughts about. Regardless of whether an individual may feel as if they are doing something that is best for them, some people may still dictate an individuals every move. What makes an action or person deviant? The question will always arise many different discussions because of the different norms that we may face within the society, on a daily basis. Deviance is a socially constructed term that may bring about many different definitions over time. In regards to sociology of deviance, the definition may include many factors. Many people usually refer to deviance as the ability to do the right thing or the action that takes place once it occurs. Throughout this case study I will analyze how police deviance affects many social norms, and theorist who examined aspects of some sociological theories. Also I will discuss police crime that does not follow certain norms and expectations of social groups in the world today.
Deviance can be defined as an absence of conformity to the social norm. Not all deviant behavior is necessarily illegal or harmful to individuals, these behaviors can range from standing in another’s personal space to murdering another individual. In some cases, it can be looked upon as a positive change or a unique and favorable act. Although, considered deviant because it is not the social norm, it still can have a very positive social aspect or lead to social change. Culture and the societies within these cultures have a significant impact on what is considered deviant and what is acceptable or even lawful behavior. The degree of deviance is measured by society’s reaction towards the action and the lawful sanctions that may take
In the 1998 film American History X, Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for brutally murdering two black men who were breaking into his truck. Through his Brother Danny’s narration of a paper he is writing, it is learned that Derek was the leader of a large Neo-Nazi group known as D.O.C., or Disciples of Christ, that committed many acts of racial crime throughout Los Angeles. During his time in prison Derek decides that hate is a waste of time after being violently raped by fellow white supremacists, and his only friend being a black man, who was only in prison for a misunderstanding. After getting out on parole, Derek learns that Danny is headed down the same racist path as him, and decided that he must put a stop to it. Throughout this film there are many examples of the five theories of deviance; Functional, Conflict, Labeling, Broken Windows, and Differential Association. From Derek’s initial exposure to racism, all the way to him deciding to change, all five theories are exemplified through Derek, Danny, their Father, Cameron, or the D.O.C. as a whole.
Deviance and crime are wide-ranging terms used by sociologists to refer to behavior that varies, in some way, from a social norm. Cultural Norms are society's propensity towards certain ideals; their aversion from others; and their standard, ritualistic practices. Essentially the 'norm' is a summation of typical activities and beliefs of group of people. This essay will evaluate the sociological theories associated with crime and deviance and to compare and contrast these main theories. And find links between these theories to today’s society. There are various Sociological deviance theories, including Structuralist: why do some people break the rules? ,
When individuals contemplate the term deviance, they often think of it as behavior that is inherently bad. Contrary to that belief, deviance is described as a behavior that departs from the social constructs of a society(Thio 2010). Deviance, criminal or not, is commonly used amongst mass media to entertain their viewers. The media relies on their audience’s inherent social constructs to make a profit. Without the meanings attached to these deviant behaviors, there wouldn’t be any motive behind showing them.
Deviance is described as being behaviour that is not part of the norms in your particular society. This can be different throughout the world because some cultures have very different norms (Stephens and Leach, 1998:17). Most deviant behaviour will attract disapproval from others in the society or punishment from authorities. There are many different types of deviance such as addiction, mental illness, alcoholism, criminality and homosexuality. Throughout this essay six types of theories will be discussed about how and why people are deviant. Four of these theories support the idea of deviance being biological and three support the idea of it being caused by your social construction. Also the essay will talk about the differences between
Author of the 2002 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, Charles R. states that the word deviance is one that “usually refers to some behavior that is inconsistent with the standards of acceptable conduct prevailing in a given social group, although the term has also been used to designate personal conditions, ideas, or statuses that are stigmatized or disreputable” (p. 1). Assuming this ideal as fact, we must consider those who influence the change in behavior that is deemed “disreputable.” In order to understand this, the Nation must be observed in a large scale while searching for the persons that are most influential. In this way, we must designate which behaviors are considered deviant and how those influential people help those behaviors to be deemed so. Anything similar to gang activity, drug use, violence of any
Hollin, C. ( 1989, pp.4-8) explains that “crime cannot be explained solely by psychological theory” and therefore goes on to state three main approaches which attempts to explain what crime is. He also notes that there are of course more explanations than those given therefore again suggesting there is no one definition of ‘What is Crime’. One idea which Hollin states is the “consensus view”. This idea suggests that crime is defined differently in different societies due to what is the social norm. Crime is then defined within this view as an action which the majority disapprove of.