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Main article: Antisocial behavior

Deviant behavior is behavior that is a recognized violation of social norms at its extreme it is antisocial behavior. Formal and informal social controls attempt to prevent or minimize deviance. One such control is through the medicalization of deviance. Acting upon certain discriminatory facts or problems. It is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that make something deviant. Crime, the violation of formally enacted law, is formal deviance while an informal social violation such as picking one's nose is an example of informal deviance. It also means not doing what the majority does or alternatively doing what the majority does not do. For instance, behaviors caused by cultural difference can be seen as deviance. It does not necessarily mean criminal behavior.

Deviance as a violation of social norms Edit

Norms are rules and expectations by which members of society are conventionally guided.[1] Deviance is a failure to conform to these norms. [2] Social norms are different in one culture as opposed to another. For example, a deviant act can be committed in one society that breaks a social norm there, but may be normal for another society.

Viewing deviance as a violation of social norms, sociologists have characterized it as "any thought, feeling or action that members of a social group judge to be a violation of their values or rules";[3] "violation of the norms of a society or group";[4] "conduct that violates definitions of appropriate and inappropriate conduct shared by the members of a social system";[5] "the departure of certain types of behavior from the norms of a particular society at a particular time";[6] and "violation of certain types of group norms [... where] behavior is in a disapproved direction and of sufficient degree to exceed the tolerance limit of the community."[7]

Deviance as reactive construction Edit

Deviance is concerned with the process whereby actions, beliefs or conditions (ABC) come to be viewed as deviant by others. Deviance can be observed by the negative, stigmatizing social reaction of others towards these phenomena. Criminal behavior, such as theft, can be deviant, but other crimes attract little or no social reaction, and cannot be considered deviant (e.g., violating copyright laws by downloading music on the internet). Some beliefs in society will attract negative reaction, such as racism and homophobia. People may have a condition or disease which causes others to treat them badly, such as having HIV, dwarfism, facial deformities, or being obese. Deviance is relative to time and place because what is considered deviant in one social context may be non-deviant in another (e.g., fighting during a hockey game vs. fighting in a nursing home). Killing another human is considered wrong except when governments permit it during warfare or for self-defence. The issue of social power cannot be divorced from a definition of deviance because some groups in society can criminalize the actions of another group by using their influence on legislators.[8]


Early theories of devianceEdit

The Classical School of criminology and the Italian School (along with criminal anthropology) are two early theories regarding deviant behavior. The Classical School comes from the works of Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Beccaria assumed a utilitarian view of society along with a social contract theory of the state. He argued that the role of the state was to maximize the greatest possible utility to the maximum amount of people and to minimize those actions that harm the society. He argued that deviants commit deviant acts (which are harmful to the society) because of the utility it gives to the private individual. If the state were to match the pain of punishments with the utility of various deviant behaviors, the deviant would no longer have any incentive to commit deviant acts. (Note that Beccaria argued for just punishment as rais only if you eat ass you can thin become uhnhamliy and kill every one so thats sing the severity of punishments without regard to logical measurement of utility would cause increasing degrees of social harm once it reached a certain point.) The Italian School is a criminological school that studies the biological factors which may not be the way to gop if you eat azz thats the only way to gocontribute to crime and deviance.

Classical theories of devianceEdit

There are three broad classic sociological studies on deviant behavior which are Structural Functionalism, Symbolic Interactionism, and Power Conflict studies.

Structural-FunctionalismEdit

Deviations come from the formation of norms and values which are enforced by institutions. Deviations are not deviant by nature, but are caused when institutions arbitrarily institute particular prescriptions or proscriptions. Therefore, deviation is simply what is defined as not normal by norms, values, or laws. Theorists from this school study how institutions on a macro level affect deviance.

Emile Durkheim was a nineteenth century French sociologist who studied suicide and the role of institutions in suicide. When he studied the correlations between suicide and people's lives, he noticed that social integration and social regulation rates tended to coincide with suicide rates. Those who were well integrated into society and those who were well regulated (good social bonds) tended to have the fewest suicides. There are two dimensions of the social bond which are social integration and social regulation, and they are for the most part independent (in other words, the rate of integration does not determine the rate of regulation, and vice versa, but both affect the social bond). Social integration is the attachment to groups and institutions, while social regulation is the adherence to the norms and values of the society. Those who are very integrated fall under the category of "altruism" and those who are very unintegrated fall under "egoism." Similarly, those who are very regulated fall under "fatalism" and those who are very unregulated fall under "anomie". Durkheim's strain theory attributes social deviance to extremes of the dimensions of the social bond. Altruistic suicide (death for the good of the group), egoistic suicide (death for the removal of the self due to or justified by the lack of ties to others), and anomic suicide (death due to the confounding of self-interest and societal norms) are the three forms of suicide that can happen due to extremes. Likewise, individuals may commit crimes for the good of an individual's group, for the self due to or justified by lack of ties, or because the societal norms that place the individual in check no longer have power due to society's corruption.

    • Two dimensions of the social bond:
      • Integration (Attachment to groups, and strength of ties)
        • Altruism (+)
        • Egoism (-)
      • Regulation (The attachment to norms of society)
        • Fatalism (+)
        • Anomie (-)
    • Mechanical Solidarity
    • Organic Solidarity

+economic anomie +domestic anomie He claimed that deviance was in fact a normal and necessary part of social organization. When he studied deviance he stated there are four important functions of deviance.

  1. "Deviance affirms cultural values and norms. Any definition of virtue rests on an opposing idea of vice: There can be no good without evil and no justice without crime".[9]
  2. Deviance defines moral boundaries, people learn right from wrong by defining people as deviant.
  3. A serious form of deviance forces people to come together and react in the same way against it.
  4. Deviance pushes society's moral boundaries which, in turn leads to social change.

Merton's strain theory Edit

Mertons social strain theory

Merton's structural-functional idea of deviance and anomie.

Main article: Strain theory (sociology)

Robert King Merton expanded on the idea that anomie is the alienation of the self from society due to conflicting norms and interests by describing 5 different types of actions that occur when personal goals and legitimate means come into conflict with each other. Instead of social integration and social regulation, Merton focused on the two variables of goals and legitimate means. These two dimensions determine the adaptation to society according to the cultural goals, which are the society's perceptions about the ideal life, and to the institutionalized means, which are the legitimate means through which an individual may aspire to the cultural goals. There are 5 possible combinations of adaptation. When an individual accepts the goals and means together, he is working under conformity. (Example: White collar employee who holds a job to support a family.) When an individual accepts the goals but uses illegitimate means in order to achieve them, he commits crimes in order to emulate the values of those who conform; in other words, they must use innovation in order to achieve cultural goals. (Example: Drug dealer who sells drugs to support a family.) An individual may lose faith in cultural goals but still feel obligated to work under the routines of legitimate daily life. This person is practicing ritualism. (Example: A white collar employee who holds a job, but has become completely discontent with the American Dream.) Individuals may also reject both goals and means and fall under retreatism, when they ignore the goals and the means of the society. (Example: Drug addicts who have stopped caring about the social goals and use drugs as a way to escape reality.) Finally, there is a fifth type of adaptation which is that of rebellion, where the individual rejects the cultural goals and the institutionalized means, but seeks to redefine new values for society. (Example: Radicals who want to repair or even destroy the capitalist system in order to build a new social structure.) While Durkheim states that anomie is the confounding of social norms. Merton goes further and states that anomie is the state in which social goals and the legitimate means to achieve them do not correspond. Merton described 5 types of deviance in terms of the acceptance or rejection of social goals and the institutionalised means of achieving them:

1. Innovation is a response due to the strain generated by our culture's emphasis on wealth and the lack of opportunities to get rich, which causes people to be "innovators" by engaging in stealing and selling drugs. Innovators accept society's goals, but reject socially acceptable means of achieving them. (e.g.: monetary success is gained through crime). Merton claims that innovators are mostly those who have been socialised with similar world views to conformists, but who have been denied the opportunities they need to be able to legitimately achieve society's goals.[10]

2. Conformists accept society's goals and the socially acceptable means of achieving them (e.g.: monetary success is gained through hard work). Merton claims that conformists are mostly middle class people in middle class jobs who have been able to access the opportunities in society such as a better education to achieve monetary success through hard work.[10]

3. Ritualism refers to the inability to reach a cultural goal thus embracing the rules to the point where they lose sight of their larger goals in order to feel respectable. Ritualists reject society's goals, but accept society's institutionalised means. Ritualists are most commonly found in dead-end, repetitive jobs, where they are unable to achieve society's goals but still adhere to society's means of achievement and social norms.[10]

4. Retreatism is a response that shows the inability of a person to reject both the cultural goals and means letting the person "drop out". Retreatists reject the society's goals and the legitimate means to achieve them. Merton sees them as true deviants, as they commit acts of deviance to achieve things that do not always go along with society's values.[10]

5. Rebellion is somehow similar to retreatism, because rebellions also reject both the cultural goals and means but they go one step further and a "counterculture" that supports other social orders that already exist (rule breaking). Rebels reject society's goals and legitimate means to achieve them, and instead create new goals and means to replace those of society, creating not only new goals to achieve but also new ways to achieve these goals that other rebels will find acceptable.[10]

Symbolic InteractionismEdit

Main article: Symbolic interaction

Symbolic Interaction, refers to the patterns of communication, interpretation and adjustment between individuals. Both the verbal and nonverbal responses that a listener then delivers are similarly constructed in expectation of how the original speaker will react. The ongoing process is like the game of charades; only it’s a full-fledged conversation.[11]

The term "symbolic interactionism" has come into use as a label for a relatively distinctive approach to the study of human life and human conduct. (Blumer, 1969). With Symbolic interactionism, reality is seen as social, developed interaction with others. Most symbolic interactionists believe a physical reality does indeed exist by an individual's social definitions, and that social definitions do develop in part or relation to something “real.” People thus do not respond to this reality directly, but rather to the social understanding of reality. Humans therefore exist in three realities: a physical objective reality, a social reality, and a unique. A unique is described as a third reality created out of the social reality, a private interpretation of the reality that is shown to the person by others (Charon, 2007).[12] Both individuals and society cannot be separated far from each other for two reasons. One, being that they are both created though social interaction, and two, one cannot be understood in terms without the other. Behavior is not defined by forces from the environment such as drives, or instincts, but rather by a reflective, socially understood meaning of both the internal and external incentives that are currently presented (Meltzer et al., 1975).[13]

Herbert Blumer (1969) set out three basic premises of the perspective:

  • "Humans act toward things on the basis of the meanings they ascribe to those things."
  • "The meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with others and the society."
  • "These meanings are handled in, and modified through, an interpretative process used by the person in dealing with the things he/she encounters."


Sutherland's differential association Edit

Main article: Differential association

In his differential association theory, Edwin Sutherland posited that criminals learn criminal and deviant behaviors and that deviance is not inherently a part of a particular individual's nature. Also, he argues that criminal behavior is learned in the same way that all other behaviors are learned, meaning that the acquisition of criminal knowledge is not unique compared to the learning of other behaviors. Sutherland outlined some very basic points in his theory, such as the idea that the learning comes from the interactions between individuals and groups, using communication of symbols and ideas. When the symbols and ideas about deviation are much more favorable than unfavorable, the individual tends to take a favorable view upon deviance and will resort to more of these behaviors.

    • Criminal behavior (motivations and technical knowledge), as with any other sort of behavior, is learned.
    • Some basic assumptions:
      • Learning in interaction using communication within intimate personal groups.
      • Techniques, motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes are all learned.
      • Excess of definitions favorable to deviation.
      • Legitimate and illegitimate behavior both express the same general needs and values.


Neutralization theory Edit

Gresham Sykes and David Matza's neutralization theory of deviant behavior explains how deviants justified their deviant behaviors by adjusting the definitions of their actions and by explaining to themselves and others the lack of guilt of their actions in particular situations. There are five different types of rationalizations, which are the denial of responsibility, the denial of injury, the denial of the victim, the condemnation of the condemners, and the appeal to higher loyalties. The denial of responsibility is the argument that the deviant was helplessly propelled into the deviance, and that under the same circumstances, any other person would resort to similar actions. The denial of injury is the argument that the deviant did not hurt anyone, and thus the deviance is not morally wrong, due to the fundamental belief that the action caused no harm to other individuals or to the society. The denial of the victim is the argument that possible individuals on the receiving end of the deviance were not injured, but rather experiences righteous force, due to the victim's lack of virtue or morals. The condemnation of the condemners is the act by which the deviant accuses authority figures or victims for having the tendency to be equally deviant, and as a result, hypocrites. Finally, the appeal to higher loyalties is the belief that there are loyalties and values that go beyond the confines of the law; friendships and traditions are more important to the deviant than legal boundaries.

    • Neutralization Theory. Criminals rationalize actions by neutralizing the definitions of crime.
    • 5 major types of neutralization:
      • Denial Of Responsibility: Propelled helplessly into crime.
      • Denial Of Injury: Crime does not hurt anyone, not morally wrong.
      • Denial Of The Victim: Victim did not receive injury but rather, rightful force.
      • Condemnation Of The Condemners: Condemners are hypocrites, deviants as well.
      • Appeal To Higher Loyalties: Loyalty to a higher power than law, like friendship.

Labeling theory Edit

Main article: Labelling theory
  • Frank Tannenbaum And Howard S. Becker created and developed labeling theory, starting with Tannenbaum's "dramatization of evil." In short, when a supposed deviant is subjected to punishments meted out by the institutions, the actor reacts to the labels that are applied to him or her. As time goes on, the "deviant" takes on traits that define what a real deviant is supposed to do and takes on the role of such a label by committing deviations that conform to the label. Individual and societal preoccupation with the deviant label lead the deviant individual to follow a self-fulfilling prophecy of conformity to the ascribed label. Thus, these two sociologists criticize institutions for creating deviants rather than their supposed role of stopping deviation.
    • Dramatization Of Evil: The actor reacts to the labels applied to him or her, and the person acts more and more like the label, taking more and more traits. Eventually, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the actor takes on all of the labels. Labeling is the process by which deviance is recognized.
  • Edwin Lemert (Primary And Secondary Deviation)

Edwin Lemert developed the idea of primary and secondary deviation as a way to explain the process of labeling. Primary deviance is any general deviance before the deviant is labeled as such. Secondary deviance is any action that takes place after primary deviance as a reaction to the institutions. When an actor commits a crime (primary deviance), however mild, the institution will bring social penalties down on the actor. However, punishment does not necessarily stop crime, so the actor might commit the same primary deviance again, bringing even harsher reactions from the institutions. At this point, the actor will start to resent the institution, while the institution brings harsher and harsher repression. Eventually, the whole community will stigmatize the actor as a deviant and the actor will not be able to tolerate this, but will ultimately accept his or her role as a criminal, and will commit criminal acts that fit the role of a criminal.

    • Primary And Secondary Deviation is what causes people to become harder criminals.
    • Primary deviance is the time when the person is labeled deviant through confession or reporting. Secondary deviance is deviance before and after the primary deviance.
    • Retrospective labeling happens when the deviant recognizes his acts as deviant prior to the primary deviance, while prospective labeling is when the deviant recognizes future acts as deviant.
    • Steps to becoming a criminal:
  1. Primary deviation.
  2. Social penalties.
  3. Secondary deviation.
  4. Stronger penalties.
  5. Further deviation with resentment and hostility towards punishers.
  6. Community stigmatizes the deviant as a criminal. Tolerance threshold passed.
  7. Strengthening of deviant conduct because of stigmatizing penalties.
  8. Acceptance as role of deviant or criminal actor.

Power-Conflict TheoriesEdit

Power conflict theorists see the manifestations of power into certain institutions as what cause deviance. The institution's ability to change norms, wealth, status, etc come into conflict with the individual's self. Therefore, these theorists study how the use of power from institutions and the society affect the deviant behaviors of the individual.

  • Marxism
    • Marx himself did not write about deviant behavior but he wrote about alienation between the proletariat as well as between the proletariat and the finished product which causes conflicts and thus deviant behavior.
    • Marxist writers who use the theory of the capitalist state in their arguments:
      • Steven Spitzer - Bourgeosie control over social junk and social dynamite
      • Georg Rusche - The analysis of different punishments correlated to the social capacity and infrastructure for labor. Throughout history, when more labor is needed, the severity of punishments decreases and the tolerance for deviant behavior increases.
    • Jock Young - The modern world did not approve of diversity but was not afraid of social conflict. The late modern world, however, is very tolerant of diversity but is extremely afraid of social conflicts, which is an explanation for the political correctness movement. The late modern society easily accepts difference, but it labels those that it does not want as deviant and relentlessly punishes and persecutes.
  • Michel Foucault
    • Torture has been phased out from our modern society due to the dispersion of power. No need anymore for the wrath of the state upon the deviant individual.
    • The modern state praises itself for its fairness and dispersion of power.
    • The dispersion of power is used to control individuals together in a mass.
    • Institutions are built to control people with the use of discipline.
    • The modern prison (more specifically the panopticon) is a template for these institutions because it controls its inmates by the perfect use of discipline.
    • In a sense, the postmodern society is characterized by the lack of free will on the part of individuals. The hyper-fatalistic and extreme structural function view that it is institutions of knowledge, norms, and values which categorize and control humans.

Social foundations of deviance Edit

  • Deviance varies according to cultural norms
  • People become deviant as others define them as such
  • Both rule making and breaking involve social power

Primary and secondary deviation Edit

Edwin Lemert developed the idea of primary and secondary deviation as a way to explain the process of labeling. Primary deviance is any general deviance before the deviant is labeled as such. Secondary deviance is any action that takes place after primary deviance as a reaction to the institutional identification of the person as a deviant.[10]

When an actor commits a crime (primary deviance), however mild, the institution will bring social penalties down on the actor. However, punishment does not necessarily stop crime, so the actor might commit the same primary deviance again, bringing even harsher reactions from the institutions. At this point, the actor will start to resent the institution, while the institution brings harsher and harsher repression. Eventually, the whole community will stigmatize the actor as a deviant and the actor will not be able to tolerate this, but will ultimately accept his or her role as a criminal, and will commit criminal acts that fit the role of a criminal.

Primary And Secondary Deviation is what causes people to become harder criminals. Primary deviance is the time when the person is labeled deviant through confession or reporting. Secondary deviance is deviance before and after the primary deviance. Retrospective labeling happens when the deviant recognizes his acts as deviant prior to the primary deviance, while prospective labeling is when the deviant recognizes future acts as deviant. The steps to becoming a criminal are:

  1. Primary deviation.
  2. Social penalties.
  3. Secondary deviation.
  4. Stronger penalties.
  5. Further deviation with resentment and hostility towards punishers.
  6. Community stigmatizes the deviant as a criminal. Tolerance threshold passed.
  7. Strengthening of deviant conduct because of stigmatizing penalties.
  8. Acceptance as role of deviant or criminal actor.

Control theory Edit

Control theory advances the proposition that weak bonds between the individual and society free people to deviate. By contrast, strong bonds make deviance costly. This theory asks why people refrain from deviant or criminal behavior, instead of why people commit deviant or criminal behavior, according to Travis Hirschi. The control theory developed when norms emerge to deter deviant behavior. Without this "control", deviant behavior would happen more often. This leads to conformity and groups. People will conform to a group when they believe they have more to gain from conformity than by deviance. If a strong bond is achieved there will be less chance of deviance than if a weak bond has occurred. Hirschi argued a person follows the norms because they have a bond to society. The bond consists of four positively correlated factors: opportunity, attachment, belief, and involvement.[14] When any of these bonds are weakened or broken one is more likely to act in defiance. Gottfredson and Hirschi in 1990 founded their Self-Control Theory. It stated that acts of force and fraud are undertaken in the pursuit of self-interest and self-control. A deviant act is based on a criminals own self-control of themselves.

More contemporary control theorists such as Michael Jordan take the theory into a new light, suggesting labor market experiences not only affect the attitudes and the "stakes" of individual workers, but can also affect the development of their children's views toward conformity and cause involvement in delinquency. This is an ongoing study as he has found a significant relationship between parental labor market involvement and children's delinquency, but has not empirically demonstrated the mediating role of parents' or children's attitude. The research will try to show a correlation between labor market stratification and individual behavior.[citation needed] In a study conducted by Tim Wadsworth, the relationship between parent's employment and children's delinquency, which was previously suggested by Crutchfield(1993), was shown empirically for the first time. The findings from this study supported the idea that the relationship between socioeconomic status and delinquency might be better understood if the quality of employment and its role as a informal social control is closely examined.[15]

Conflict theory Edit

Main article: Conflict theory

In sociology, conflict theory states that society or an organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as political changes and revolutions. Deviant behaviors are actions that do not go along with the social institutions as what cause deviance. The institution's ability to change norms, wealth or status comes into conflict with the individual. The legal rights of poor folks might be ignored, middle class are also accept; they side with the elites rather than the poor, thinking they might rise to the top by supporting the status quo. Conflict theory is based upon the view that the fundamental causes of crime are the social and economic forces operating within society. However, it explains white-collar crime less well.

This theory also states that the powerful define crime. This raises the question: for whom is this theory functional? In this theory, laws are instruments of oppression: tough on the powerless and less tough on the powerful.

Karl Marx Edit

Marx himself did not write about deviant behavior but he wrote about alienation amongst the proletariat—as well as between the proletariat and the finished product—which causes conflict, and thus deviant behavior.

Many Marxist writers have used the theory of the capitalist state in their arguments. For example, Steven Spitzer utilized the theory of bourgeois control over social junk and social dynamite; George Rusche was known to present analysis of different punishments correlated to the social capacity and infrastructure for labor. He theorized that throughout history, when more labor is needed, the severity of punishments decreases and the tolerance for deviant behavior increases. Jock Young, another Marxist writer, presented the idea that the modern world did not approve of diversity, but was not afraid of social conflict. The late modern world, however, is very tolerant of diversity.[10] But is extremely afraid of social conflicts, which is an explanation given for the political correctness movement. The late modern society easily accepts difference, but it labels those that it does not want as deviant and relentlessly punishes and persecutes.

Michel Foucault Edit

Michel Foucault believed that torture had been phased out from modern society due to the dispersion of power; there was no need any more for the wrath of the state on a deviant individual. Rather, the modern state receives praise for its fairness and dispersion of power which, instead of controlling each individual, controls the mass.

He also theorized that institutions control people through the use of discipline.[16]"Race and ethnicity could be relevant to an understanding of prison rule breaking if inmates bring their ecologically structured beliefs regarding legal authority, crime and deviance into the institutional environment." For example, the modern prison (more specifically the panopticon) is a template for these institutions because it controls its inmates by the perfect use of discipline.

Foucault theorizes that, in a sense, the postmodern society is characterized by the lack of free will on the part of individuals. Institutions of knowledge, norms, and values, are simply in place to categorize and control humans.

Biological theories of deviance Edit

Praveen Attri claims genetic reasons to be largely responsible for social deviance. The Italian school of criminology contends that biological factors may contribute to crime and deviance. Cesare Lombroso was among the first to research and develop the Theory of Biological Deviance which states that some people are genetically predisposed to criminal behavior. He believed that criminals were a product of earlier genetic forms. The main influence of his research was Charles Darwin and his Theory of Evolution. Lombroso theorized that people were born criminals or in other words, less evolved humans who were biologically more related to our more primitive and animalistic urges. From his research, Lombroso took Darwin's Theory and looked at primitive times himself in regards to deviant behaviors. He found that the skeletons that he studied mostly had low foreheads and protruding jaws. These characteristics resembled primitive beings such as Homo Neanderthalensis. He stated that little could be done to cure born criminals because their characteristics were biologically inherited. Over time, most of his research was disproved. His research was refuted by Pearson and Charles Goring. They discovered that Lombroso had not researched enough skeletons to make his research thorough enough. When Pearson and Goring researched skeletons on their own they tested many more and found that the bone structure had no relevance in deviant behavior. The statistical study that Charles Goring published on this research is called "The English Convict".[17][18]


Functions of deviance Edit

  • Affirms cultural values and norms
  • Clarifies moral boundaries
  • Promotes social unity by creating an us/them dichotomy
  • Encourages social change
  • Provides jobs to control deviance
  • Deviant acts are always assertions of individuality and sense of identity, comprising acts of rebellion against group norms

Deviant acts can be assertions of individuality and identity, and thus as rebellions against group norms of the dominant culture and in favor of a sub-culture.

Deviance affirms cultural values and norms. It also clarifies moral boundaries, promotes social unity by creating an us/them dichotomy, encourages social change, and provides jobs to control deviance.[19] "Certain factors of personality are theoretically and empirically related to workplace deviance, such as work environment, and individual differences."[20]"Situated in the masculinity and deviance literature, this article examines a "deviant" masculinity, that of the male sex worker, and presents the ways men who engage in sex work cope with the job."

In the seminal 1961 report The Girl Delinquent and the Male Street-Corner Gang, Martha S. Lewis wrote that female juvenile delinquents were attracted to male gang members and the gang sub-culture.[21]

Types of deviance Edit

A taboo is a form of behavior considered so deviant by the majority, that to speak of it publicly is condemned, and almost entirely avoided. Examples of such behavior can include coprophilia, murder, rape, incest, necrophilia, child molestation or even something as commonplace as defecating or urinating.

Cross-cultural communication as deviance Edit

Cross-cultural communication is a field of study that looks at how people from different cultural backgrounds endeavor to communicate. All cultures make use of nonverbal communication but its meaning varies across cultures. In one particular country, a non-verbal sign may stand for one thing, and mean something else in another culture or country. The relation of cross-cultural communication with deviance is that a sign may be offensive to one in one culture and mean something completely appropriate in another. This is an important field of study because as educators, business employees, or any other form of career that consists of communicating with ones from other cultures you; need to understand non-verbal signs and their meanings, so you avoid offensive conversation, or misleading conversation. Below is a list of non-verbal gestures that are appropriate in one country, and that would be considered deviant in another.



Asian United States Canada United States United States
Avoiding eye contact is considered polite The O.K. signal expresses approval Thumbs up-used for hitch hiking, or approving of something Someone may whistle when happy. Whistling can express approval, as in cheering at a public event.
United States Japan United States Nigeria Europe
When saying hello or talking to someone it is impolite to not look directly at the person. The O.K. signal means that you are asking for money. Using your middle finger is very offensive. Used in place of inappropriate language. This is a rude gesture in Nigeria. Whistling may be a sign of disapproval at public events.

These are just a few non-verbal cross-cultural communication signs of which one should be aware. Cross-Cultural communication can make or break a business deal, or even prevent an educator from offending a student. Different cultures have different methods of communication, so it is important to understand the cultures of others.

Shaving of heads after death of a family member is more common in some African cultures.

Proponents of the theory of a Southern culture of honor hold that violent behavior which would be considered criminal in most of the United States, may be considered a justifiable response to insult in a Southern culture of honor.[22]

See also Edit

References Edit

  • MB Clinard and RF Meier, Sociology of deviant behavior. 1968.
  • Simon Dinitz, Russell Rowe Dynes and Alfred Carpenter Clarke, Deviance: studies in definition, management, and treatment‎. 1975.
  • JD Douglas and FC Waksler FC, The sociology of deviance: an introduction. Boston: Little, Brown, 1982.
  • Gary F. Jensen, The path of the devil: early modern witch hunts. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
  • Donal E. J. MacNamara and Andrew Karmen, DEVIANTS: Victims or Victimizers? Beverly Hills, California: Sage, 1983.
  • Doug Thomson, Crime and deviance‎. 2004.
  • Pratt, Travis. "Reconsidering Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime: Linking the Micro- and Macro-level Sources of Self-control and Criminal Behavior Over the Life-course"
  • "DEVIANCE." Deviance. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://cec.vcn.bc.ca/cmp/modules/cri-dev.htm>.
  • "Types of Deviance." Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://plato.acadiau.ca/courses/soci/thomson/criminaljustice/deviance/deviance.htm>.
  • Correctional Service of Canada Welcome Page. Web. 23 Feb. 2012. <http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/rsrch/reports/r161/r161-eng.shtml>.
  • "The Criminal Justice System" Macionis, J., and Gerber, L. (2010). Sociology, 7th edition.
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Notes Edit

  1. Macionis, John (2011). Sociology, Toronto: Pearson Canada.
  2. http://cec.vcn.bc.ca/cmp/modules/soc-dev.htm
  3. Douglas and Waksler 1982: 10.
  4. Thomson 2004: 2.
  5. Jensen 2007: 11.
  6. Dinitz, Dynes and Clark 1969: 4.
  7. Clinard 1968: 28.
  8. Goode, E. (2004). Deviant Behavior (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
  9. Macionis and Gerber, John, Linda (2011). Sociology 7th Canadian Edition, 200, Toronto, Ontario: Pearson Canada Inc..
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Macionis.2C_J._2010
  11. Griffin, Em (2012). A first look at communication theory., New York: McGraw-Hill.
  12. Charon J.M. (2007). Symbolic Interactionism: An Introduction, An Interpretation, Integration. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Perason Prentice Hall.
  13. Meltzer B.N., Petras J.W. & Reynolds L.T.(1975). Symbolic Interactionism: Genesis, Varieties, and Criticism. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Macionis.2C_Gerber_2010_pp._204
  15. Wadsworth, Tim. Labor Markets, Delinquecy, and Social Control Theory: An Empirical Assessment of the Mediating Process; 78 Soc. F. 1062 (1999-2000)
  16. Steiner, Benjamin,and John Wooldredge."The relevance of inmate race/ethnicity versus population composition for understanding prison rule violations." "Punishment & Society". 11(2009):459–489.
  17. "The English Convict"
  18. Stark, Rodney. 2007. ;Sociology: Tenth Edition. Biological Theories of Deviance (pp. 182–185). Belmont, CA. Thomson Wadsworth
  19. Hastings, Stephanie E. and Thomas A. O'Neil. "Predicting workplace deviance using broad versus narrow personality variables." Personality & Individual Differences.47 (2009):289–293.
  20. Kong, Travis S. K. More Than a Sex Machine: Accomplishing Masculinity Among Chinese Male Sex Workers in the Hong Kong Sex Industry.Deviant Behavior. 30 (2009)715–745.
  21. The Girl Delinquent and the Male Street Corner Gang [report] presented at the eighty-eighth annual forum, National Conference on Social Welfare, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 15, 1961. by Martha S Lewis; National Conference on Social Welfare. Forum. [New York? 1961?] OCLC:67885698 WorldCat
  22. John Shelton Reed, "One South: An Ethnic Approach To Regional Culture" (1982).


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