The world will always have bad people, and bad things happen in it for this reason- Deviance.
Deviance comes in many forms in society. Deviance even helps form and shape society’s norms and goals. Without deviance we would not have rules. Deviance is any behavior that violates social norms, and is usually of sufficient severity to warrant disapproval from the majority of society. Deviance can be criminal or non‐criminal. Basically our society would not have anything to base rules off of, without deviance.
Deviance describes actions or behaviors that violate social norms; deviance is also the purview of sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and criminologists to study how these norms are created and enforced. Norms are rules by which members of society are guided. Also deviance is an absence of conformity to these norms. Social norms differ from culture to culture. For example, a deviant act can be committed in one society that breaks a social norm there, but may be normal for another society. We need deviance to form our society; it is a critical factor that plays a big role in the map of societies.
Deviance shapes or society’s in many ways. Without deviance how are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong. Due to shaping our society this allows deviance to have many functions to society. Emile Durkheim quotes that deviance and deviant behavior “is an integral part of all healthy societies.” Deviance is kind of like monkey see, monkey do. When something is deviant, the society becomes united in response to it. In other words deviance illustrates people who violate laws and so forth and provide us with a guide line of rights and wrongs. Deviance provides function in five ways:
- Group members close ranks.
- Limits future acts that would be defined as deviant.
- Helps clarify what the group does and does not believe in.
- Provides examples that illustrate what violating the norms are.
- Prevents more serious acts of deviance.
But there is always a downfall to what seems like the perfect plan. There is also dysfunctions of deviance as well. All society’s try to limit as much deviant behavior as it can because of the following dysfunctions:
- It is a threat to social life because it is so unpredictable.
- It causes confusion about norms. People do not know what is expected from them and what is right and wrong.
- It undermines trust.
- Diverts valuable resources.
Society controls deviant behavior by sanctions, also known as rewards or penalties that a groups member gives an individual based on an individual’s behavior. For example normal people in our society do not rob banks because you would go to prison. Robbing the bank is the act of deviance and going to prison is a negative formal sanction. Informal sanctions would be like someone trying to avoid you for not wearing the right clothes.
Deviance is very necessary to keep control of a society because without deviance people would not know what is acceptable and what is not. People would not get in trouble for committing murder or robbing banks. The society would be unpredictable and unsafe. Not only would deviance cause and unsafe environment it would also cause people to be confused about goals. There would not be a cultural goal that everyone is striving for.
Deviance is a big controlling factor that allows for some people to commit deviant acts but only to be punished; letting the people know that this act is not tolerated. For example drinking before the age of 21 is a deviant act in the United States but in Germany kids are drinking at the age of 14 with a parent accompanying them. Some things might seem deviant to one cultural but be acceptable in another. Deviance can be perceived and manipulated in several different ways, it is all up to the society’s norms and values, but without deviance there is sure to chaos and crime. Some people become deviant through the labeling theory and some people are even thought to just be born deviant. The importance for laws against deviant behavior and deviance in itself is overall the factor that makes the blue prints to our everyday lives.