Social Norms

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Deviance is a title that insinuates the violation of social norms in society. This can be described as adjacent to criminal and improper behaviour imposed by the people who break the social norms of a society. Thus, becoming subjective to a label of 'deviant'. Deviants often have punishment bestowed upon them by authoritive figures such as the enforcers of law. There are many universal types of deviance throughout societys over the world such as alcoholism, addiction, mental illness and homosexuality. All of these may be a result of biological and social constructionist theories of deviance, this essay will define the opposing differences and the relation of the two in this essay. Both hold contributing factors to the construction of…show more content…
1924:28). Biological explanations of deviance were first described by the creator of Phrenology, a man called Franz Gall who decribed people with large heads to be criminally or deviantly inclined. Gall was the first doctor to investigate physical features connection to crime and thus theorise physical characteristics of a person to biologically explain deviance. Physicians from the Italian 'Positive School of Criminology' of the 19th century brought attention to biological theories of deviance, particularly a man named Cesare Lombroso. Lombroso's thesis elaborated on Gall’s explanation of deviance. Lombroso claimed the ultimate explanation of crime and deviance by associating defects of physical characteristics to deviance. Although his theories were not supported by any scientific evidence, these physicians became famous for assuming that physical and mental explanations of a person could indicate whether the person was 'born' deviant or not. Lombroso labelled these differences of appearance and behaviour “stigma” and claimed that characteristics such as large jaws, long arms abnormally small or large ears, flawed teeth and general hairiness of the body attributed to criminality of a person (Sabbatini 1997:1) and used the term “atavism” to describe biologically

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