Deviant Behavior Essay

1650 Words May 21st, 2002 7 Pages
Deviant behavior refers to behavior that does not conform to norms, does not meet the expectations of a group of a society as a whole. After birth, children begin to experience situations with others. They are taught what he or she should and should not do, what is good or bad and what is right or wrong. Learning habits that conform to the customs and traditions of the groups into which the child is born develops a system of values. These values provide justification and motivation or for wanting to refrain from behavior that is disapproved.
After reading this, one can see how a behavior is considered deviant, but the question is, "Why is a certain type of behavior considered deviant?" This paper will take a particular deviant
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Becker states, "Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance. Deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather a consequence of the application by others of rules and sanctions to an offender. The deviant is one to whom that label has successfully been applied; deviant behavior is behavior that people so label." (Becker, 1963). This means as long as the deviance is unknown to others, the individual would not be considered deviant or abnormal. It focuses on the consequences of deviants' interactions with conventional society, especially with the element of formal control. Labeling theory looks at the deviant, which in turn causes them to be considered standard deviant behaviors. However, the conflict theory directs attention away from being labeled and its consequences for generating deviant identities and deviant careers, rather focusing on issues such as who makes the rules and laws, who decides who is deviant and which groups benefit from or suffer by these decisions. It holds that dominant groups of society have the power to decide which norms and laws govern the society and to ensure that these norms favor their own values, interests, and standards of morality. This means that the conflict theory clearly deals with "the issues of making rules, especially criminal law. Arguing that laws are passed and rules are approved because they

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