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Social Deviance

1. Introduction
  Ø  The word “deviance” is related to the root for “deviate” which means to wander off track.  In sociology, our concern is just as much with what keeps people on the line as it is about people getting off it.
  Ø  Deviance is any behavior that violates cultural norms. Deviance is often divided into two types of deviant activities.
 The first, crime is the violation of formally enacted laws and is referred Introduction
to as formal deviance. Examples of formal deviance would include: robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault, just to name a few.
 The second type of deviant behavior refers to violations of informal social norms, norms that have not been codified into law, and is referred to as informal deviance. Examples of informal deviance might include: picking one's nose, belching loudly (in some cultures), or standing too close to another unnecessarily (again, in some cultures).
As the last two examples in the preceding paragraph illustrate, deviance can vary quite dramatically from culture to culture. Cultural norms are relative; this makes deviant behavior relative as well.
Current research on deviance by sociologists takes many forms. For example, Dr. Karen Halnon of Pennsylvania State University studies how some people exercise informal deviance. Her research focuses on what she calls "deviance vacations," where people of certain socioeconomic status descend to lower strata. For instance, heterosexual white males may become drag queens on the weekend. It is a vacation because heterosexual white males can afford to descend temporarily and then return to the advantages of their true socioeconomic status. Other examples include white hip-hop acts like Eminem and Nu-Metal bands like Limp Bizkit that mimic lower or middle class people in order to use their socioeconomic credentials for profit, despite their true socioeconomic status.
Sociological interest in deviance includes both interests in measuring formal deviance (statistics of criminal behavior; see below) and a number of theories that try to explain both the role of deviance in society and its origins. This chapter will cover the theories of deviance used by sociologists and will also cover current crime statistics.

2.      Definitions of Deviance
  Ø  To adapt unusual social behavior other then ongoing social patterns is referred to as Social Deviation  (David Popnoe)
  Ø  No system of social control works perfectly. Some persons fail to behave as expected in known societies, although nonconformity may be defined as Social Deviation.
3.   Definitions of Social deviance
  Ø  Social  deviance is the area of sociology that studies the violation of social norms or expectations, and researchers studying it will often use social or interpersonal methods of obtaining data. Among the large variety of theories concerning the source and sociology of deviance.
4.  Kinds of Social Deviation
1.     Disapproved
Some people in the society violate the existing patterns and rules of the society for their personal benefits e.g. Criminals, robbers, smugglers etc. this is a sort of disapproved deviation.

2. Approved
There are some people in the society who do not like the prevalent norms and laws. They consider their right to violate such norms and laws. They express their violation through their words and acts. They do not hide from the others. They even instigate others to imitate them. Such people are normally called revolutionary people which is some how approved in different societies.
3. Relative and Absolute Deviation

Most people in modern societies are neither completely conformist nor completely deviant. A completely deviant person would have a hard time staying alive. Even extreme spectacular deviants, such as pyromaniacs, revolutionists, or hermits, are generally fairly conventional in some of their activities. And nearly all normal people occasionally deviate. It is clear that nearly everyone in our society is deviant to some degree, but some are more frequently and broadly deviant than others, and some conceal their deviant actions more fully than others.

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