The Sociology of Deviance Disputing it is Dead

Satisfactory Essays
Sociologists suggest deviance is a violation of any societal norm. Yet some have suggested deviance is a socially outmoded concept based on a Durkheim’s model of social solidarity. Therefore suggesting now it is obsolete, there is no longer a use for it in a (post) modern progressive and diverse society like Australia. According to Roach Anleu (2004) Colin Sumner was one such claimant. Sumner suggested that the sociological concept of deviance and any coherent theoretical development stagnated in mid 1970s, as no agreement on how deviance should be set never happened, therefore there was never an answer to the question, “deviant from what”? Secondly, Sumner states there is no explanation for why deviance is the chosen subject of research, instead of the norms that specify deviance. He believed it only made sense to examine deviance within the framework of social disapproval. Sumner also believed the relationships between deviance, crime, and difference to be unclear. Lastly he thought that the search for a general concept to encompass such a assorted range of activities, problems and situations was misguided because there can be no behavioural unity for such a diverse range of practices. Sumner (1994) suggested that the focus should analysis how deviant categories are constructed and managed by the power relationships that are continually changing. (Sumner 1994), (Roach Anleu 2014) Roach Anleu (2014) describe norms as reflecting some level of consensus and can be laws, rules, regulations, standards, or unspoken expectations. However, within large communities, there can be individuals, and groups whose behaviour is perceived as deviant according to the accepted norms. Those individuals and or groups may not necessarily be consider...

... middle of paper ...

... Emirbayer Source: Sociological Theory, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Jul., 1996), pp. 109-130 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: Accessed: 28/05/2010 14:44

Tilly, Charles.
.1981. "Useless Durkheim." Pp. 95-108 in As Sociology Meets History. New York: Academic Press.

European Scientific Journal February 2014 edition vol.10, No.5 ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print) e - ISSN 1857- 7431
Ruhi Can Alkin, MSc
University of Southampton, the UK
Anleu, Sharyn L. Deviance, Conformity & Control, 4th Edition. Pearson/Australia, 01/2014. VitalBook file.
Goode, E 2006, 'IS THE DEVIANCE CONCEPT STILL RELEVANT TO SOCIOLOGY?', Sociological Spectrum, 26, 6, pp. 547-558, SocINDEX with Full Text, EBSCOhost, viewed 3 June 2014.
Get Access