Satisfactory Essays

In the eighth chapter of “Sociology”, I. Robertson explains that there are many definitions about deviance but not enough, so he tries to find closer one and clarify the deviance. He starts with a question which is “who is deviant?” and lists of its answers.In the list of its answers, Robertson benefits from Simons` study and he says that; “the words refer to people and acts that other people strongly disapprove of ”(23).On the other hand, Robertson then counters it with conflicting topic of sociological literature.He claims that the concept of this definition is found slippery one by sociologists.After this idea,Robertson questions second definition which is “dviance is any behavior that doesn`t conform to social norms”(24).However, Robertson judges this definiton as not helpful.He exemplifies that eating three meals in a day can be deviant behavior for some unimportant social norms.Therefore, Robertson argues that minor deviations aren`t included in the particular sociological interest.He claims that the main idea of sociological interest is about violations which are regarded as offensive by majority of people. And he says that one word is stigma – a bad reputation or disapproving by a lot of people. After this analysis, he benefits from second definition and improves it, so he finally declares a definition, which is “deviance refers to behavior or characteristics that violate significant social norms and expectations and are negatively valued by large numbers of people as a result”(24). He emphasizes that this definition clarifies deviance more than others.

He continues with clarification of deviance by helping of main three points. Firstly, he claims that there is no close relationship between deviance and statistical rarity. He exemplifies that jogging before the breakfast can be unusual statistically but not a reason for deviance. However, Robertson then states that some norms can be modified or abandoned time to time. He makes clear it with an example that premarital sex was prohibited in American society several years ago. However, nowadays the majority of American society admits this event normally. As a result, Robertson declares firmly that norms can lose their force or influence as time passes. Secondly, Robertson argues about division of “normals” and “deviants”. He explains briefly that there is no class between normals and deviants. He illustrates that if we divide people as thieves, patients (mental disordered) or drug users, we will have a few “normal” people. In addition to them, Robertson says, “deviance is relative”(25).
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