First and foremost, it is important to understand the definition of deviance and what makes a person a deviant person. Before the reading, if someone had asked me to define deviance or what a deviant person is, I would have simply said something or someone that does not conform to what society perceives as “normal”. Yet, the concept of deviance is more than just a broad definition. The book states that deviance “refers to the conduct which the people of a group consider so dangerous or embarrassing or irritating that they have to bring special sanctions to bear against who exhibit it” (Erikson 6). However, that is simply a general definition because the principles that determine what makes a person a deviant person varies from culture to culture due to various crucial factors such as traditions, norms, culture and other critical components of a particular society (Erikson 9). As Erikson mentions “behavior which qualifies one man for prison may qualify...
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...havior represents the individual (Erikson 7). What I found interesting was how the community does not necessarily label a deviants person based on the deviant act they expressed, but rather on additional factors such as their social class, whether they express any remorse and other considerations (Erikson 7).
Lastly, Erikson discusses how in any type of community, there are boundaries which helps it maintain together. These boundaries establish a limited amount of activity, which a community has the ability to control, and as a result “members tend to confine themselves…and to regard any conduct which drifts off the radius as somehow inappropriate or immoral” (Erikson 10). Therefore, as stated before, a community will act upon any deviant behavior which goes outside these boundaries “making a statement about the nature and placement of its boundaries” (Erikson 11).
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