Sociological perspectives on deviance

Further deviation with resentment and hostility towards punishers.

Sociological perspectives on deviance

Social Movements Theories of Deviance Deviance is any behavior that violates social norms, and is usually of sufficient severity to warrant disapproval from the majority of society. The sociological discipline that deals with crime behavior that violates laws is criminology also known as criminal justice.

People who engage in deviant behavior are referred to as deviants. The concept of deviance is complex because norms vary considerably across groups, times, and places. In other words, what one group may consider acceptable, another may consider deviant.

For example, in some parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Muslim Africa, women are circumcised. In America, the thought of female circumcision, or female genital mutilation as it is known in the United States, is unthinkable; female genital mutilation, usually done in unsanitary conditions that often lead to infections, is done as a blatantly Sociological perspectives on deviance tactic to prevent women from having sexual pleasure.

A number of theories related to deviance and criminology have emerged within the past 50 years or so. Differential-association theory Edwin Sutherland coined the phrase differential association to address the issue of how people learn deviance.

According to this theory, the environment plays a major role in deciding which norms people learn to violate.

Specifically, people within a particular reference group provide norms of conformity and deviance, and thus heavily influence the way other people look at the world, including how they react.

In short, people learn criminal behavior, like other behaviors, from their interactions with others, especially in intimate groups. For example, juvenile gangs provide an environment in which young people learn to become criminals. These gangs define themselves as countercultural and glorify violence, retaliation, and crime as means to achieving social status.

People learn deviance from the people with whom they associate. In the s, Robert Merton used the term to describe the differences between socially accepted goals and the availability of means to achieve those goals. Merton stressed, for instance, that attaining wealth is a major goal of Americans, but not all Americans possess the means to do this, especially members of minority and disadvantaged groups.

The theory is also sociological in its emphasis on the role of social forces in creating deviance. On the negative side, anomie theory has been criticized for its generality.

Like differential association theory, anomie theory does not lend itself to precise scientific study.

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People may want—at least some of the time—to act in deviant ways, but most do not. They have various restraints: As examples, they cite wealthy and powerful businesspeople, politicians, and others who commit crimes. Critics also argue that conflict theory does little to explain the causes of deviance.

Proponents counter, however, by asserting that the theory does not attempt to delve into etiologies.

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Instead, the theory does what it claims to do: It discusses the relationships between socialization, social controls, and behavior. This theory holds that behaviors are deviant only when society labels them as deviant.

Labeling theory questions who applies what label to whom, why they do this, and what happens as a result of this labeling.

Sociological perspectives on deviance

Powerful individuals within society—politicians, judges, police officers, medical doctors, and so forth—typically impose the most significant labels.

Labeled persons may include drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals, delinquents, prostitutes, sex offenders, retarded people, and psychiatric patients, to mention a few. Unfortunately, people who accept the labeling of others—be it correct or incorrect—have a difficult time changing their opinions of the labeled person, even in light of evidence to the contrary.

William Chambliss in conducted a classic study into the effects of labeling. As a result, the police always took action against the Roughnecks, but never against the Saints. Critics of labeling theory indicate that the theory only applies to a small number of deviants, because such people are actually caught and labeled as deviants.

Critics also argue that the concepts in the theory are unclear and thus difficult to test scientifically.The Society Pages (TSP) is an open-access social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota.

Deviance in Sociology: Definition, Theories & Examples 'Different' or 'unexpected' are words often used to describe deviance from a sociological perspective. Deviance in Sociology. Deviance: Functionalist Explanations Deviance: Functionalist Explanations 3 3 What Happens if the Collective Conscience Fails The result according to Durkheim, was the development of .

Deviance, Crime, and Social Control Defining Crime; Crimes against People; Three Major Perspectives in Sociology. Yet this is not necessarily the case for latent functions, which often demand a sociological approach to be revealed.

A sociological approach in functionalism is the consideration of the relationship between the functions of.

Sociological perspectives on deviance

Theories of Crime and Deviance. Their actions and perspectives demonstrate the use of conflict theory to explain social deviance. Labeling Theory. The fourth main sociological theory of deviance is labeling theory.

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Labeling theory refers to the idea that individuals become deviant when a deviant label is applied to them; they adopt the. Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms. Learn more about the definition and some of the major theories attached to deviance and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Theories of Deviance