Deviance Is Not A Quality Of The Act

1048 Words Nov 12th, 2015 5 Pages
Howard Becker wrote that "deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sometimes to an 'offender '. The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behavior is people so label" (Winfree and Abadinsky, p. 227, 2010). Deviance occurs when an individual performs a certain act, possesses certain characteristics, or has a certain belief that will generate a negative reaction from an audience. In the world of sociology, four actions must occur to be considered deviance: (1) an act, belief, or physical condition which violates a certain norm; (2) an individual who performs the act, expresses the belief, or possess a particular physical condition; (3) a group of people or audience who evaluates and makes judgment on the normative violation; and (4) a negative reaction follows the observation discovery of the violation (Goode, 2011). Deviance occurs in many forms, however mutual agreement remains elusive on which specific acts, beliefs, or physical characteristic constitute deviance. This ambiguity becomes obvious when one group praises the same behavior that others condemn. Numerous discussions on deviance induce strong political and moral attitudes, resulting in some groups to solicit officials to support their views. In order to understand deviance, one should first understand the contradictions of deviance. No agreement reliably identifies behavior, people or…
Open Document