Deviance is a type of socio-psychological construct which is defined by a behaviour not accepted as a norm. Here are some facts about Deviant behaviour.
Deviant behavior is any behavior that is contrary to the dominant norms of society. There are many different theories that explain how behavior comes to be classified as deviant and why people engage in it, including biological explanations, psychological explanations, and sociological explanations. Here we review four of the major sociological explanations for deviant behavior.
Deviance can vary dramatically across cultures. Cultural norms are relative, which makes deviant behavior relative as well. For instance, in the United States, Americans do not generally impose time-based restrictions on speech. However, in the Christ Desert Monastery, specific rules govern determine when residents can and cannot speak, and speech is banned between 7:30 pm and 4:00 am. These rules are one example of how norms vary across cultures.
Deviance is often divided into two types of activities. The first, crime, is the violation of formally enacted laws and is referred to as formal deviance. Examples of formal deviance include robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault. The second type of deviant behavior involves violations of informal social norms (norms that have not been codified into law) and is referred to as informal deviance. Examples of informal deviance include picking one’s nose, belching loudly, or standing unnecessarily close to another person.
Deviance is commonly observed, for instance, in individuals who engage in compulsive behaviors (e.g., substance users, gamblers, and others afflicted by one or more of the so-called "addictions").
Formal deviance includes criminal violation of formally-enacted laws. Examples of formal deviance include robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault.
Informal deviance refers to violations of informal social norms, which are norms that have not been codified into law. Examples of informal deviance include picking one’s nose, belching loudly, or standing unnecessarily close to another person.
Norms and deviance always depend on the culture in which they exist.To study norms and deviance, one must contextualize the action, or consider the action in light of all of the circumstances surrounding it.
Formal deviance results in legal sanctions, such as fines or prison, while informal deviance results in social sanctions or stigma.
A cultural way of life leads to the development of a preference rather than stigmatization.
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