Deviance & Social Control

What Is Deviance And Why Does It Occur?

Day 34 - Objective: We will analyze why people deviate. Closing: I will add my thoughts at the end of the presentation.

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Behavior that departs from societal or group norms.


a person who breaks significant societal or group norms.

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Why does deviance occur?

Deviance Can Be Learned Through Association

Differential association theory - primary groups can transmit deviance

  • A person who knows mostly deviants is more likely to become one.
  • A person is more likely to copy deviant behavior from someone significant to him or her.
  • Younger children learn deviant behavior more quickly than older children.
Children See, Children Do. HIGH QUALITY
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According to Emile Durkheim, an ANOMIE is...

a social condition in which norms are weak, conflicting, or absent.

  • without shared norms, individuals are uncertain about how they should act and think.

Strain Theory (adapted from Durkheim's Anomie concept)

the theory that deviance is more likely to occur when a gap (money/prestige) exists between cultural goals and the ability to achieve them.

Responses to Strain:

  • Innovation
  • Ritualism
  • Retreatism
  • Rebellion

Labeling Theory (Howard Becker, pioneer of the theory)

Society creates deviance by identifying particular members as deviant.

  • We might label or identify one person engaging in certain behavior as deviant, but NOT label someone else engaging in exactly the same behavior.
  • Deviance exists when some members of a group label others as deviant.
I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White.

Labels are all around is -- Society Creates them...

Why isn't everyone a criminal? What stops people?

Control Theory

the theory that compliance with social norms requires strong bonds between individuals and society.

  • Attachment
  • Commitment
  • Involvement
  • Belief

Why is deviance relative - not only to the society or social group, but also to the individual?

Who is more negatively sanctioned - an unmarried teenage pregnant girl or the unmarried teenage father?

Primary Deviance

only occasional breaking of norms

Secondary Deviance

deviance that becomes a lifestyle and part of an individual's identity.
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Would the celebrity in the cartoon be labeled a primary deviant or a secondary deviant?

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An undesirable label used to deny a deviant full social acceptance.

What role might stigma play in turning a primary deviant into a secondary deviant?

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