Deviance Is A Violation Of Social Norms

1637 WordsMay 7, 20177 Pages
Imagine someone rich or powerful committing crimes without the fear of serving consequences. The crime may include murder, robbery, or stealing. Deviance is a label for an action or behavior that violates social norms. Social norms are rules or expectations which usually guide members of society. Deviance is nonconformity to these norms. Social norms can vary from culture to culture and is defined in numerous ways. Many researchers believe that deviance is a violation of social norms. Some believe deviant behavior is breaking the law or acting in a negative manner. Sociologists use specific words to classify deviant actions from a sociological perspective. There are crimes that are deviant actions and not deviant acts. For example; this…show more content…
Many laws are enacted to punish criminals and protect individuals from violent deviant actions. Privileged Deviance is economically costly because some powerful individuals attempt to escape the consequences of deviant actions. Deviance occurs through interactions between individuals and groups. The labeling theory discusses the social behavior of how and why individuals continue deviant activity to maintain their identity or label. Thio, Taylor, and Schwartz state “the word interaction deviance is a human activity involving more than one person’s act” (Thio, et. al, 2013, p. 35). The theory suggests individuals reflect on their behavior and how others view their actions. The labeling theory can be linked to the symbolic interaction foundation perspective. Understanding deviance and criminal behavior are addressed through the labeling theory. Thio, Taylor, and Schwartz suggest that the deviant act begins with the hypothesis that no act is essentially criminal. Criminality is recognized by individuals who feel powerful through the design of laws and the interpretation of law enforcement. Deviance is determined by the interaction between deviant and nondeviant actions and how the community interprets the actions. Individuals who adhere to the law and promote acceptable behaviors are the main source of labeling. For example; this may include police officers, courts, or school authorities. Defining specific
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