Social Deviance and Social Norms Essay

Social Deviance and Social Norms Essay

Length: 915 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Social deviance is a violation of social norms. So what qualifies as a social deviant? According to sociologist, Howard S. Becker the best definition of social deviance is, “It is not the act itself, but the reactions to the act, that do something deviant.” In cultures around the world, there are many practices Americans find deviant, but in other cultures, it’s the norm. In many countries around the world, girls are married as young as 11 years old. To Americans, that is considered child abuse and rape, but that is only because of our social norms. To the men and parents in different countries, it is perfectly normal because their social norms. In America, social deviance comes in many different forms. We have our sexual deviants, criminal deviants, body modification deviants and many others. The definition of social deviance is constantly changing due to the acceptance of deviant behavior.
Tattoos became socially acceptable in the 1980’s. Before that, tattoos were associated with deviants such as gangs, criminals, and bikers. To be tattooed meant that you were a violent social outcast. Today, getting a tattoo is one of the most socially normal things to do. Tattoos and piercings are everywhere, people of all backgrounds and ages have them. Tattoo artist makes a very good living owning a tattoo and piercing shop. According to Statistic Brain, it is estimated that America has 21,000 tattoo studios with more opening daily, and about 45, million Americans have at least one tattoo. On a similar form a deviant appearance modification, there are those that dedicated their entire life to changing their appearance.
Dennis Avner, also known as “Stalking Cat”. He has made several modifications to his body, from full-face tattoos, fanged...

... middle of paper ...

...earch, 50(3/4), 276. doi:10.1080/00224499.2012.738259
Dorsten, L. M. (1999). The Effect of Inbreeding on Early Childhood Mortality: Twelve Generations of an Amish Settlement. Demography, 36(2), 263.
Jayne, M. K. (2005, June 8). Genetic Disorders Hit Amish Hard. Retrieved from CBS News:
Lenhart, K. (2013). Multiculturalism and Feminism for Hispanic Immigrant Women Accused of Drug Crimes. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2013(6), 1613.
Poulsen, F. M. (2013). Pornography Use: Who Uses It and How It Is Associated with Couple Outcomes. Journal Of Sex Research,50(1), 72. doi:10.1080/00224499.2011.648027
Statistic Brain (2013, December 11). Tattoo Statistics. Retrieved from Statistic Brain:
Smith, W. J. (2006). The Catman Cometh. Weekly Standard, 11(39), 20.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Sociology Of Deviance And Social Norms

- In the study of Sociology of Deviance, sociologists develop theories and perspective in explaining the account for deviant and studying of how the society reacts. It is an interesting field to study because the difference and changes of deviance and social norms have a significant impact on individuals and groups. In this essay, I will examine varies definitions and perspective of Erikson and Heckerts respectively in respect to the following concepts: deviance serves certain functions for society, the typology of positive and negative deviance and the "middle class norms", and the labelling perspective on deviance....   [tags: Sociology, Anomie, Sociological terms]

Better Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Social Deviance : The Violation Of Rules And Norms

- Aiman Boudjada Reflection Paper #1 What is Social Deviance. Social Deviance can be defined as the violation of rules and norms (henslin 2009). Looking at this definition however does not give you the proper understanding of what deviance is . What are social norms, how does one become a deviant, who decides whether someone 's deviant or not. These questions ask about several ideas that help to define the meaning of social deviance, which is why a definition can 't give you the full meaning....   [tags: Sociology, Sociological terms, Social philosophy]

Better Essays
1201 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Use of Drugs on Society

- In a culture with such diverse commonalities, the differentials that set precedent come from social norms. These norms set the template for what acceptable behavior is. Being known as having a melting pot of a population we can expect that the norms are influenced through religion, values, ideas, and self views. Deviant behaviors occur when these social norms are disrupted and acts are seen to go against what we have always thought as wrong or weird. Deviance is a broad term that encompasses the idea that we know what is right from what our neighbor does....   [tags: Culture, Social Norms, Deviance]

Better Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Why Do We Socially Conform to Situations Essays

- Why do people sometimes feel that they need to socially conform to what is going on around them, even if they do not want to. The presence of others seems to set expectations to behave in certain ways in certain situations, even if they do not want to. Social conformity is a “type of social influence involving a change in belief or behavior in order to fit in with a group. This change is in response to real (involving the physical presence of others) or imagined (involving the pressure of social norms / expectations) group pressure” (McLeod, S....   [tags: behave, norms, social, deviance]

Better Essays
596 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Social Norms

- Deviance is a title that insinuates the violation of social norms in society. This can be described as adjacent to criminal and improper behaviour imposed by the people who break the social norms of a society. Thus, becoming subjective to a label of 'deviant'. Deviants often have punishment bestowed upon them by authoritive figures such as the enforcers of law. There are many universal types of deviance throughout societys over the world such as alcoholism, addiction, mental illness and homosexuality....   [tags: Sociology, Deviance ]

Better Essays
1722 words (4.9 pages)

What´s Deviance? Essay

- From a sociological understanding, deviance is any behavior or physical appearance that is condemned from social standards because it defies social norms or social expectations. Sociological understanding of deviance is not always associated with a negative outcome, but can have positive effects for the individual or soceity. With the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks was seen deviant for sitting at the front of a bus and refusing to move when a white male came on board. This act of civil rights not only made a stance for improving African American rights, but also helped change social norms.....   [tags: social standards, norms, expectations]

Better Essays
573 words (1.6 pages)

How My Deviance Affected My Social Standing Essay

- While understanding and studying the foundations of a norm (a rule or guideline regarding what kinds of behavior are acceptable and appropriate within culture) that was broken, I researched and it was shown that my group membership would be placed in the secondary group (larger, less intimate groups). The deviance (a behavior, trait, belief, or other characteristic that violates a norm and causes a negative reaction) that occurred was shown in the membership of a secondary group because the norm that was broken was proposed while being in a classroom of students of a large group, that were considered as members that were organized around a specific goal such as receiving a high school diplo...   [tags: cheating, norms, culture]

Better Essays
981 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Social Deviance

- Social deviance is a very broad term, which describes actions or behaviors that violate social “norms.” Norms, in a simple context, are rules by which members of society are expected to conform to. When discussing the term deviance, one might talk about the failure, or people’s failures to adapt to rules established by society. Social deviance has many forms and interpretations. Deviant acts, are primarily relative to setting, because deviance in one place could be considered non-deviance in another place....   [tags: norms, criminal behavior, equality, Malcolm X]

Better Essays
2495 words (7.1 pages)

Deviance And Social Change : Deviance Essay

- Kiara Rivera SOC 295 Section E01 April 28th, 2015 Deviance and Social Change Deviance as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is, “The fact or state of departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behavior.” These “usual or accepted standards” are more often referred to as social norms. Sociologist, Emile Durkheim, identified four functions of deviance. The first two “affirming cultural norms” and “clarifying moral boundaries” are a result of the punishment of deviant behavior....   [tags: Sociology, Anomie, Social movement]

Better Essays
1823 words (5.2 pages)

The Medicalization of Deviance and Overview of Mental Health Courts Essay

- Medicalization of deviance in the United States (U.S.) over the years has expanded as medicine has become the main response to deviance through the use of therapeutic social control. Medicalization is referenced to in criminal justice as one of the ways of explaining deviance and is used to determine the responsibility of an offender. Deviance characterizes behaviors and actions that violate social norms and is seen as having an illness or a disease needing treatment. Therapeutic social control uses medicine and science as a treatment of deviance....   [tags: Medicalization of Deviance]

Better Essays
1732 words (4.9 pages)