Last semester I took a class called multicultural relations, which goes into depth on the nature and problems that America specifically encounters with racial inequality among minority groups. This class taught me the emotional trauma that minorities go through on a daily basis when dealing with inequality. Inequality has a major impact on crime and deviance more than poverty does. Social Control, Learning Theory, and the Labeling Theory and three topics that have furthered my understanding on why and how people become deviant.
Social control implies the deliberate attempt to change a person’s behavior so that, it conforms to the norms of society. There are two types of social control, indirect social control and direct social control. Indirect social control is the internalization of group norms though socialization. We conform to these norms because we want to. We do not want to disappoint our families, friends or significant other. Also threat of punishment is enough to get someone to conform to societal norms. Direct social control is external pressures through sanctions from others. Sanctions are social reactions to people’s behavior. They can be positive by rewarding someone for good behavior or negative by punishing someone for deviant behavior. Sanctions can also be formal as in getting a speeding ticket or making the dean’s list. They can also be informal such as giving your friend a high five or giving your friend the finger. Social control aims for social order and the reduction of deviant behavior in our society.
The Learning Theory introduced by Sutherland shows a step by step process of how people develop their deviant roles and why they break the law. First deviance is learned thro...
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...ial norms on how people should view gay marriage. Allowing people to feel free to be themselves without the scrutiny of society, takes people away from committing deviant behavior. Changing society’s norm to create equality in American can only be beneficial to us.
The underlying cause of deviant behavior can be related to the growing inequality in our country and the rising poverty rate. Social Learning theory and labeling theory give us a better idea of how people become deviant and why they participate in deviant behavior. Though indirect and direct social control, society aims at keeping social order and maintaining social norms. Though out the first part of this class I feel like my perceptions of deviant behavior are more understanding because I now understand the process of becoming a deviant and how deviant behavior is associated with inequality and poverty.
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