Sociological View on Deviance and Drug Use Essay

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Introduction What can a sociologist tell us about deviance, and drug use that we do not already know? If there is anything distinctive about the sociologist view, it is their emphasis on social context. One of the central ideas of all human experience is meaning. Meaning is something imposed and socially made-up, and has two features: it is both external and internal. Meaning is assigned externally to objects and behavior by social cooperation. But it is also assigned by the individual (internal): it is arrived at as a result of a private act of choosing on the individual’s part. The same behavior, the same phenomenon, the same material reality, can mean completely different things to different people, or to the same person in…show more content…
"This literature review will use a selection of available documents on the topic, which contain information, ideas, data and evidence written from a particular standpoint to fulfill certain aims or express certain views on the nature of the topic and how it is to be investigated, and the effective evaluation of these documents in relation to the research being proposed." {Chris Hart, Doing a Literature Review, 1998, p.13}. This paper will focus on the labeling theory applied to deviance and drug-related deviance. Labeling Theory A group of labeling theorists began exploring how and why certain acts were defined as criminal or deviant and why other such acts were not. They questioned how and why certain people consequently became defined as criminal or deviant. Such theorists viewed criminals not as evil persons who engaged in wrong acts but as individuals who had a criminal status placed upon them by both the criminal justice system and the community at large. From this point of view, criminal acts thus themselves are not significant; it is the social reaction to them that are. Deviance and its control then involve a process of social definition which involves the response from others to an individual's behavior which is how an individual views himself. Labeling theory focuses on the reaction of other people and the consequent effects of those reactions which create deviance. When it becomes known

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