Deviance and Social Control

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As we all have observed, throughout history each culture or society has unique norms that are acceptable to that group of people. Therefore, to establish and come to the acceptance of these basic norms, each society must develop its’ own strategies and techniques to encourage the fundamentals of behavior, which is clear in our modern society. Most do assume that everyone in a society will follow and respect such norms. However, some tend to deviate from the adequate norms and demonstrate deviant behavior. Nevertheless, we are inclined to ask ourselves, why do people decide to violate such important standards of living?

To come to understand why people act with deviant behavior, we must comprehend how society brings about the acceptance of basic norms. The “techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in a society” are called social control (Schaefer, 2009). As we respect and acknowledge these social norms we expect others to do so as well. Therefore, according to our behavior sanctions are carried out whether they are positive or negative. Conformity, which refers to “going along with peers, people of our own status who have no special right to direct our behavior” (Schaefer, 2009), is one way social control occurs in a group level which influence the way we act. On the other hand, obedience is the compliance with a higher authority, resulting in social control at a societal level. The sanctions used to promote these factors can be informal and formal social control. Informal social control can be very casual in enforcing social norms by using body language or other forms of discipline, however formal social control is carried out by authorized agents when desired behavior is not obtained by informal sancti...

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...ements. Yet, everyone in our society will result in developing their own perspectives on deviance and social control.

Works Cited

LISKA, A. E (2001). Social Control. In Edgar F. Borgatta & Rhonda J.V. Montgomery (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sociology, Vol. 4(2nd ed., pp. 2657-2662). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved May 20, 2010, from Gale Virtual Reference Library via Gale:

Deviance. (1998). In Robert D. Benford Macmillan Compendium: Social Issues ().New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA. 20 May 2010, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center via Gale:

Schaefer, R.T. (2009). Sociology: a brief introduction, 8th edition. New York, New York, USA: McGraw-Hill.

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