Costs and Benefits of Deviance

What are the negative and beneficial effects of deviance?

Obj: We will discover the negative and positive effects of deviance. Closing: I will take notes and participate.

Functionalist Theory - Social Stability

  • Some deviance may benefit society.
  • Deviance has positive and negative consequences.

Negative Effects (Costs) of Deviance

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Deviance erodes trust

  • A society with widespread distrust cannot function smoothly. (Chaos)
  • If not punished or corrected, deviance can cause nonconforming behavior in others.
  • Ex: If parents neglect their children, more teens may turn to delinquency.
  • IT IS COSTLY - It diverts human and monetary resources. Police, teachers, or managers may spend more time on this behavior than on more serious duties.
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Beneficial Effects of Deviance

Society can sometimes benefit in spite of its negative effects.

  • Emile Durkheim observed that deviance clarifies norms by causing society to exercise social control to defend its values; society defines, adjusts, and reaffirms norms.
  • Ex: Parents see deviant parents in the media and learn what not to do, teens commit minor deviance with clothes and music to relieve adult pressure.
  • Deviance can increase unity within a society or group.
  • Ex: Women's rights, civil rights, government spies create patriotism.

More than 4,000 acts!

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What is Juvenile Crime?

Legal Violations among those under 18 years of age.

  • 3rd largest category of criminals in the U.S.
  • Criminal Activity includes: theft, murder, rape, robbery, assault, and the sale of illegal substances.
  • Delinquent behavior includes: skipping school, fighting in school, and underage drinking and smoking.

The Criminal Justice System is made up of the institutions and processes responsible for enforcing criminal statutes: Police, Courts, and correctional system.


  • Deterrence
  • Retribution
  • Incarceration
  • Rehabilitation

Should a Juvenile receive the death penalty when they commit murder?

Juvenile offenders in their own words

Should this teen receive forgiveness based on his behavior?

Teen cries out during sentencing

Should there be an age requirement for receiving the death penalty?

Austin Myers, 19, sentenced to death for murder of Justin Beck

Should he loose his college scholarship for deviant behavior?

HS Basketball Star Tony Farmer Collapses to Floor as Judge Reads 3-year Sentence

Is Rehabilitation - Resocialization a better choice in shaping a teen's behavior?

Adolescent Development & Juvenile Justice

Why are 30-60% of those released from penal institutions sent back to prison within 2-5 years?

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What are some alternatives to prisons?