Deviant acts, or acts that are that are considered to be against the social norms of society, or to be more specific in this case, acts that are considered to be criminal by nature or in short, crime, have always been an issue in various societies. Naturally, this led to governments devising various methods intended as solutions to cope with what is considered to be threats against the norms of society as a response.
“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 modern American society, there is little thought in how and why the laws came to be. There is a natural assumption that the laws were made to protect the people and society. The law is made under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which give the right to the people to seek its government for redress of any grievances. Utilizing this right, it gives rise to new laws to be enacted and old laws to be amended or repealed, in the ever developing society.
Deviance and crime is relative to the time and place that you are living in. No particular action itself is deviant or a crime is all depends on society, and how people react to it. Howard becker stated that “social groups create deviance by making rules whose infraction constitute deviance” (Becker, 1963) However functionalists would argue that we need consensus, and that these rules that define deviance help to give our society order. (Thompson, 2011)
Everyday people wake up and follow certain rules of behaviors. Brushing your teeth, following a dress code, not murdering an annoying classmate. All of these things are societal norms, written and unwritten rules of acceptable behaviors and morals. Over time norms can change in reflection of fluctuating beliefs and mores. These societal norms are generally reflected in the laws of any given country. However, sometimes in the process of change, the norms and laws get off balance. This can make the laws ineffective. No matter what the law states, if a significant portion of citizens decide to ignore, it might as well not even exist. Many times a change in social mores and norms can be observed in the court cases that arise from the clash between
Crime can be described as an act that harmful to an individual as well as the society; such acts are against and punishable by the law. While deviance can be described as acting against social norms, for example a boy wearing a skirt would be out of place in the society
Throughout history laws have been in place to restore or keep order in society. Some laws are put into place to protect while some laws are made to punish. No matter the purpose, laws are put in place with the expectation they will be followed.
As I have been constantly reminded throughout the duration of this course, deviance can have many definitions. For the purpose of this paper, I will used the relativist definition: deviance is behaviors that illicit a definition or label of deviance. However, behaviors or acts are not inherently deviant. They become so when the definition of deviance is applied. So the focus is not on why individuals violate norms, but instead how those norms are constructed. Norms are rules of behavior that guide people’s actions (Inderbitzin, Bates and Gainey 2015:3). They are society’s rules of appropriate behavior. Norms are generally broken down into three categories: laws, mores, and folkways. Laws are the strongest norms backed by official sanctions or a more formal response. Mores are “moral” norms that may generate outrage if broken. And folkways are everyday norms that do not generate much uproar if they are violated.
To understand the difference, conventional laws are created by man and can therefore be destroyed. Natural Law derives itself from nature, a force beyond man's control; therefore, it is unalterable. I believe that misunderstandings about these two types of law, and the connection between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are one reason for the loss of the Natural Law argument.
Laws are the written rules that are used to create a functioning society and avoid chaos and anarchy. As a society, we also have unwritten “laws” that we follow in order to live peacefully among each other. These unwritten “laws” are called social norms. For example, you wouldn’t be breaking any laws by wearing pajamas to work, but you would be breaking a social norm. Different races, cultures, genders, age, and sexual orientations have different social norms that are expected to abide by.
We have a tendency, for example, to label poor people taking advantage from the rich as being deviant because it over crosses the norms that we continue to build. Yet if you saw a rich man take advantage of a poor man it wouldn’t be labeled so deviant. One example that explains why this is is a landlord charging high rent to a poor person and kicking them out if they can’t pay. To us this wouldn’t be considered deviant because a lot of people would say they are just “doing their job”.
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
Deviance is the behavior and the standards of expectations of a group or society. It is also behavior that is considered dangerous, threatening or offensive. The people that are deviant are often labeled to be weirdos, oddballs, or creeps. In the United States, people with tattoos, drug addicts, alcoholics, and compulsive gamblers are all considered deviant. Sociologists believe that everybody is deviant from time to time. They believe each person will violate a social norm in certain situations. People are considered deviant if they don't stand for the national anthem at a sports event, dress casually to a fancy restaurant, or skip classes. One category of deviance is Crime. Crime is a violation of norms
In order to address the scenarios in this assignment, one must define the when life begins. According to Thomas Aquinas God created the universe and all plants, animals and life of all types under the doctrine of External Law. Based on his vision, God instilled Natural Law in law to fulfill the parameters of External Law. Self-preservation is not only a function of protecting one’s self being, but also by ensuring the species survives. This is accomplished through the second inclination of procreation. Aquinas’ teachings proclaim that God created the universe and by doing so, created all life. So logic must dictate that life begins at conception and that the developing fetus has already been instilled with Natural Law.
In this paper, I will propose that it is better to look at whether a law is legally valid or not through the perspective of natural law theory as opposed to positivist theory. My argument consists mostly of the language of “improvement” which can only exist based on the theory of natural law which states that law is something which has an objective truth behind it. Only when there is an objective mark to hit can there be hits and misses and I believe that positivism disregards the possibility of hits and misses entirely. So, my argument is that it makes more sense to consider legal validity of a law from the perspective of natural law rather than positive law because it includes not only the previously set up legal system when considering validity, but it also considers the general idea of some kind of morality as well. A sub argument is that the starting legal system must have had some basis by which to have been created and accepted which must be some form or notion of morality.