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University of Information Technology & Sciences


MD. Ruhul Amin ID#08230005 EEE

Course Instructor Zakia Sultana School of Liberal Arts UITS

Social Deviance
Introduction: It is true that the social order is mainly maintained by mean of social
control and socialization. It is equally true that most of the people follow or conform to most of the norms most of the times. But all the people or even most of people do not conform to all the norms always. As Young and Mock have pointed out, No norms is always obeyed; no individual always conforms to every set of expectations. Hence, deviance, that is, the act is going against the rulers or norms is there everywhere.

Deviance: the term deviance is behavior that violates the standards of conduct or
expectations of a group or society (Wickman 1991:85). It does not mean perversion or depravity. It is equally true that most or the people follow or conform to most of the norms most of the times. But all the people or even mist of people do not conform to all the norms always. As Young and Mack have pointed out,No norm is always obeyed; no individual always conforms to every set of expectations. According to Horton and Hunt, The term deviation is given to any failure to confirm to customary norms. Orville G. Brim Jr.Deviance can be defined as failure to conform to the expectations of other persons. Louise Weston,Deviance can be defined as behavior that is contrary to the standards of conduct or social expectations of a given group or society. M. B. Clinard suggests that the term deviance should be reserved for those situations in which behavior is in a disapproved direction and of sufficient degree to exceed the tolerance limit of society. In simple words, deviance many be defined as the act of going against the group shared expectations and norms. Example: Deviant behaviors such as knavery, cheating, adultery, unfairness, crime, malingering etc go along with conformity. Deviance in one shape or another is found everywhere. So, we can say that deviance is a very bad and dirty in our society. It is found everywhere in our country. Deviance may assume different forms. Some of them may be noted here. 1. Innovation: Society sets forth goals for the individuals to aim at and also lay down means to achieve them. When a person accepts both goals and means the result so generally. Sometimes, a person may accept the goal but not the means. He may innovated or creative his own means for achieving the goals and in this sense, he becomes a deviant. If this innovated means brings positive results it poses no problem for the social order and if it brings negative results it may pose a danger to the society.

2. Ritualism: Sometimes a person gives up important social values yet does lip service to them by carefully observing related norms of behavior. They are ritualistic. They abandon the pursuit of success as fruitless and yet strictly adhere to the prescribed means. They regard rules as sacred. They tend to lower their aspirations and never expect success. Because they find themselves unable to break out of their commitment to the rules.

3. Retreatism: The rejection of both values and norms is retreatism. It is in one way or
another of dropping out of society. The person who drop out resigns so to speak. Those who retreat from the society refuse to pursue wealth either by legal or illegal means. They also refuse to lead a conventional life. They are unable to get success honestly. They are not able to break the conventional procedure because of the strongly internalized norms.

4. Rebellion: Rebellion is another response open to those who reject both ends and means. Some people reject the prevailing order and engage in efforts to replace that order. They try to substitute new ends and means for those that exist. They are called rebels. Rebellion is produced by alienations form the both values and norms.
Theories of Deviance: There are three kinds of theories in deviance. Those are_

A. Functionalist perspective B. Internationalist perspective C. Conflict perspective

A. Functionalist perspective: according to functionalists, deviance is a common part

of human existence, with positive as well as negative consequence for social stability. Functionalist Emile Durkheim (1835-1964) focused his sociology investigation mainly or criminal acts, yet his conclusion have implications for all types of deviant behavior. In Durhkeim view, the punishments established within a culture help to define acceptable behavior and thus contribute to stability. If improper acts were not sanctioned, people might stretch their standared of what constitutes appropriate conduct. Durkheim introduced the term anomie into sociological literature. His opinion that anomie is a state of normlessness that typically occurs during a period of profound social change and disorder such as a time of economic collapse. People become more aggressive or depreesd, which results in higher rates of violent crime and suicide. Since there is much less agreement or economic depression, conformity and obedience becomes less significant as social forces. It also becomes much more difficult to state exactly what constitutes deviance.

Another functionalist Merton focused his theory various things. He also says deviance as a socially created behavior rather than as the result of momentary pathological impulses.

B. Internationalist perspective: The functionalist approach to deviance explains

why rule violations continue to happen despite pressure to conform and obey. However, functionalists do not indicate how a given person comes to commit a deviant act, or why on some occasions crime do or do not occur. The emphasis on everyday behavior that is the focus of the interactionist perspective offers two explanations of crime cultural transmission and routine activities theory.

Cultural Transmission: Sutherlands ideas have been the dominating force in criminology. He drew on the cultural transmission school, which emphasize that one learns criminal behavior by int5eracting with others. Such learning includes not only the techniques of lawbreaking.( For example how to break into a cart quickly and quality) but also the motives, drives and rationalizations of the criminal. The cultural transmission approach can also be used to explain the behavior of those who habitually abuse alcohols or drugs. Sutherland maintained that through interactions with a primary group and significant others, people acquire definitions of proper behavior. Routine Activities Theory: more recent interactionist explanation considers the requisite condition for a crime or deviant act to occur; there must be at the same time and in the same place, a perpetrator, a victim and/or an object of property. Routine activities theory contends that criminal victimization increase when motivated offenders and suitable targets coverage. Some significant research supports routine activities theory, for example, studies of urban crime have documented the existence of hot spots such as tourists destinations and automated teller mechanics (ATMs), where people are more likely to be victimized because of their routine coming and going. Furthermore, evidence shows that in cold climates, war men temperatures are associated with a rise in property crimes and probably violent crimes as well regardless of a communitys population density. In good weather, people are out and about, rendering both themselves and their vacated homes more valuable.

C. Conflict perspective: Conflicts theorists point out that people with power protect their own interests and define deviance to suit their own needs. Sociologist Richard Quinney(1974,1979,1980) is a leading exponent of the view that the criminal justice system sereves the interests of the powerful. Crime, according to Quinney, is a definition of conduct created by authorized agents of social control such as legislators and law enforcements officers in a politically organized society argue that lawmaking is often into their own morality. This theory helps to explain why our society has laws against many gambling drug usage and prostitution, many of which are violated on a massive scale.

According to conflict theorists, criminal law does not represent a consistent application of societal values, but instead reflects competing values and interests.

Conclusion: In this large discussion, we look after that functionalists see standards
of deviant behavior are merely reflecting culture norms; interactionist or conflict theorists point out that the most powerful groups in a society can shape laws and standards and determine who is (or is not) prosecuted as a criminal. But it is true all of the society dislike deviance. We are everyday safe ourselves any kind of deviance character.

Bibliography: (a) Principles of Sociology

N. Shanrkar Rao

(b) Deviance and Control

Albert K. Cohen

(c) Sociology- Understanding Social Behavior

A. P. Bates and Julian

(d) A Dictionary of Sociology

Duncan Mitchell

(e) Criminology
Don C. Gibbons

(f) Contemporary Social Problems of India

Biswanth Ghosh