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DEVIANCE PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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DEVIANCE. Sociology 120 Kayla. What is deviance?. Deviance is an act committed by a member of society that goes against what is considered acceptable in a society (defies social norms)

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Sociology 120


What is deviance?

Deviance is an act committed by a member of society that goes against what is considered acceptable in a society (defies social norms)

ie; A bank robber is deviant because he steals money from the bank instead of earning it like others in society.

Symbolic Interactionalism



3 Characteristics Affecting Differential Association;

Theory that the more one is exposed to deviance, the more deviant they will be.

The ratio of deviant to non-deviant behaviors

Is the deviant behavior practiced by a significant other?

Age of exposure

Labeling Theory

The theory that explains why deviance is relative.

Theory that deviance exists because some members of society label others that way.

Conflict Perspective

Deviance in terms of power struggles; Most powerful societal members determine who is deviant.

  • Spitzer’s propositions:

  • Critics are considered deviant because their beliefs challenge common economic , political, or social basis.

  • Those who do not work are considered deviant for they do nothing for the greater good of society.

  • Those who threaten private property – punished.

  • People who don’t respect authority are deviant because of the need for laws.

  • Certain activities are encouraged at certain times.

Deviance in industrial society

Rich and powerful determine which acts are deviant and means of punishment.

Spitzer proposed ways the industrial society defends itself from deviants

Belief that minorities are treated unequally in the criminal justice system;

Statistics show that non-whites are more likely to be found guilty than whites, receiving longer sentences.

Victim Discounting – Process of reducing seriousness of the crimes that injure people depending on their social status.

Functionalist Perspective

Emphasizes social stability; Some deviance contributes to a well working society.

Deviance affects society negatively and positively.

2 theories, Strain and Conflict

Strain Theory

Anomie- Weak or absent social norms.

Shared norms are essential so members of society know what is an acceptable way to think or act.

Deviance is more common when there is a gap between common culturally desired goals such as money and happiness, and a normal way of obtaining them.

4 Responses to Strain in Society

Conflict Theory

Theory that conformity to the social norms depends on the strengths of bonds within the group.

Social bonds influence behavior.

If bonds are weak, deviance increases.

4 Basic Elements of Social Bonds

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