Gender Norms And Female Deviance

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Norms in society are the expectations of actions in specific situations. Social norms keep human social relations and behavior stable. Norms are “rules” that have developed within a particular society taking into account its values, culture and way of living. Sometimes, it is even the case that individuals do not have a choice and rarely recognize that fact that social norms have arbitrary origins because they have experienced this during the ongoing process of living (Clinard and Meyer 2011:10). Thus, gender norms are sometimes seen as limiting, disenfranchising and oppressive. People who are in less-favored or less-accepted norms are sometimes pushed to “deviate” from the norm in order to achieve some form of “liberation” from their current roles. This is the first part of Roach Anleu’s claim. That gender stereotypes lead to a certain degree of gender stratification. And for feminist theories, such gender stratification is a cause of deviance. When these gender norms are at work during social interaction, it becomes a variable for developing a social role which can lead to deviant behavior. A collection of norms form a social role and if a person deviates from his/her designated role in society, he/she is considered deviant. Apart from having a “lesser gender”, an individual is called as an aberration to the common values of society. This is the second claim of Roach Anleu. That when women transgress their roles in society, they are consequently bombarded with deviant labels. And this is the concern of labeling theory in sociology. Consider this example: when a woman asserts her right for equal opportunity in a male dominated field, she is acting beyond her “role” and is considered deviant. She is then considered as an o... ... middle of paper ... ...ho the deviants are. Works Cited Adler F. (1975). Sisters in Crime. New York: McGraw-Hill. Chesney-Lind M. (1989). “Girls’ crime and woman’s place: toward a feminist model of female delinquency”. Crime Delinquency, 35:5–29. Clinard, M. and Meier, R. (2011). Sociology of Deviant Behavior. (Fourteenth Edition) California: Cengage Learning. English K. (1993). “Self-reported crime rates of women prisoners”. Journal of Quantitative Criminology. 9:357–82 Kitsuse, J. (1980). “Coming out all over: Deviants and the politics of social problems”. Social Problems, 28, 1-13. Lemert, E. M. (1951). Social Pathology. New York: MacGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc. Richie B. (1995). The Gendered Entrapment of Battered, Black Women. London: Routledge. Seguino, S. (2007). “Plus ca change?: Evidence on Global Trends in Gender Norms and Stereotypes”. Feminist Economics, 13(2):1-28.

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