Social Deviance

826 Words Nov 22nd, 2010 4 Pages
Social Deviance Paper
Deviance is defined as the violation of cultural norms. This is an extremely broad definition, and depending on who is explaining it, the above definition can mean a variety of different things. It is, however, generally assumed by the public that anyone who is considered "deviant" is putting a negative hold on society. This is not necessarily true. Deviance is exhibited in many forms throughout society. Deviance is not necessarily negative; sometimes the norms of society need to be violated so that new norms can be formed. Society repeatedly attempts to put many social controls on its’ people. Anyone who does not fit the perfect mold of the perfect-citizen would be considered a deviant (Social Deviance, 2006).
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These prejudices can also lead to discrimination and exclusion.
These prejudices also lead to labeling and the labeling theory. Labeling theory says that deviance is not inherent to an act, but instead focuses on the linguistic tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from norms. The theory is concerned with how the self-identity and behavior of individuals may be determined or influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them, and is associated with the concept of a self-fulfilling-prophecy and stereotyping. The theory was prominent in the 1960s and 1970s, and some modified versions of the theory have developed. Unwanted descriptors or categorizations, including terms related to deviance, disability or a diagnosis of mental-illness, may be rejected on the basis that they are "labels", often with attempts to adopt a more constructive language in its place. Labeling theory is also closely related to interactionism and social-construction (Social Deviance, 2006).
"The term 'homosexual ' is generally used to refer to anyone who engages in overt sexual practices with a member of his own sex, the practice being called 'homosexuality. ' This usage appears to be based on a medical and legal frame of reference. Society has come to believe that homosexual males and females are discretely different from persons who respond to natural stimuli. Instead of using these terms as substantives,

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