Defining deviance

Home Defining and Measuring Crime and Deviance. This assignment will discuss the problems between crime and deviance, what counts as crime and deviance and how it varies with place and time. It will include the difference and similarities and give examples of defining crime and deviance.

Defining deviance

Defining deviance

The Relativistic Perspective on Defining deviance Deviance as a social definition The relativistic perspective approaches the study of deviant phenomena with quite a different conception of the nature of social life than does the normative perspective.

For sociologists within the relativistic perspective, diversity, not consensus, is the central fact of social life.

Emphasizing the great complexity and diversity of people and behavior in modern industrialized societies, these sociologists argue that it is unrealistic to assume that social organization is based on a general normative consensus.

Defining deviance and groups often have competing or conflicting interests rather than shared interests and goals. Instead of being a product of consensus, organized social behavior may be an outcome of self-interested bargaining between opposing parties or of coercion of some people by others who are more powerful.

In addition, the relativistic perspective emphasizes that existing social arrangements are always subject to change. These sociologists argue that the static concept of "norm" tends to overlook dynamic aspects of social life. Most sociologists within the relativistic perspective do not deny that social rules and expectations guide behavior in many situations, but they view these behavioral guidelines as arrangements that have been created or worked out through dynamic social processes.

On a micro level, social relationships are not rigidly determined by stable normative expectations. Rather, social relationships are formed and changed through interactional processes that have a spontaneous and dynamic character.

Similarly, on a macro level, the class structure of society is not viewed as a fixed entity. The relativistic perspective analyzes society as an arena where conflict processes, shifting class relationships, and struggles for power are played out over time.

Deviance (sociology) - Wikipedia

The relativistic perspective, with this dynamic and diversified conception of social life, is highly critical of the usefulness of the concept of social norm as a standard for defining deviance. If organized patterns of behavior are not based on widely shared, stable norms, then it becomes misleading to define behavior that departs from those patterns as "norm violations.

Defining deviance

Furthermore, if rules and guidelines for behavior are created in interpersonal or historical situations by dynamic social processes, then it is difficult, if not impossible, to specify beforehand the particular behaviors that will be appropriate or inappropriate in those situations.

Finally, since persons or groups in society are often in competition or conflict with one another, they may likewise have competing or conflicting views about deviance. Therefore, answers to the question "what is deviant?

Stage One: boat people

This is precisely the point of Simmons' study that was discussed earlier. The diversity of the answers he received to his question reflects the diversity of social audiences in a complex and changing society. In short, the relativistic perspective reaches the conclusion that neither the concept of social norm nor any other supposedly "objective" criterion is useful for defining deviance.

This is an unsettling conclusion for it seems to leave us with no abstract standard-no common benchmark for deciding what is deviant and what is not.

Deviance is a label used to exclude people who, according to some, should not be allowed in a specific social setting Deviants are the losing side of a moral argument. Deviance = Norm Violation + Negative Reaction - a working definition. Deviance means the fact or state of diverging from usual or accepted society has its own iridis-photo-restoration.comce is relative means that there is no absolute way of defining a deviant act. Deviance can be defined in relation to a particular standard and no standards are fixed or absolute. Notes from 2/5/ Deviance & Crime. DEFINING DEVIANCE-deviance: behavior (how people act), ideas (how people think), or attributes (how people appear) of an individual or group that some people in society find offensive-Deviant behavior is behavior that has been defined as deviant.

Fortunately, you already know the relativistic solution to this dilemma: This definition intentionally shies away from the "objective" viewpoint of sociologists looking at society from the outside and places the burden of defining deviance on the subjective viewpoints of social audiences within society.

The relativistic definition calls attention to quite a different set of "deviant phenomena" and research problems than does the normative definition of deviance.

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Whereas the normative perspective attempts to describe the distinguishing characteristics of deviants, the relativistic perspective focuses on the social processes involved in audience definitions of deviance and reactions to persons who have been so defined.

Rather than attempting to explain the kinds of environments that cause deviant behavior, the relativistic perspective attempts to understand the implications of audience reactions, both for persons who have been defined as deviant and for society in general.

In other words, the relativistic perspective shifts the focus of the field of deviance from deviants and deviant behavior to social audiences and definitional processes. Describing the nature of definitional processes Since the central concept of the relativistic perspective is based on audience definitions of persons and behaviors as deviant, a major task for these sociologists is the description of the general processes involved in these definitional phenomena.

In describing social processes, the relativistic perspective tends to avoid such terms as characteristics or variables that imply a certain state or condition of a phenomenon at a single point in time and refer instead to "stages" or "contingencies" involved in a process over time.

One of the clearest examples of this style of description is John I. Here, Kitsuse defines deviance relativistically as an audience definition and breaks this definitional process down into three sequential stages.

Deviance researchers can and do attempt to describe important events and contingencies occurring at each separate stage of a process. For example, under what conditions will a certain act be interpreted as deviant?

Are we as likely to define a close friend as deviant as we would be to define a stranger as deviant? However, the central problem for research in the relativistic perspective is to determine how these separate stages fit together as a single dynamic process over time.

Using Kitsuse's process as an example, how does interaction between a deviant and a social audience progress from the stage of interpreting an act, through the stage of defining the deviant person, to the final stage of treating the person as a deviant? Official records and survey research techniques are usually inappropriate for relativistic research on definitional processes.

These sources of data can, at best, provide only very indirect measures of dynamic processes that occur in social situations. Therefore, descriptions of definitional processes are typically based on direct observation of social interaction between social audiences and the people they define as deviant.

The sociologist who is present in such social situations can observe and record definitional processes as they unfold. A study of police encounters with juveniles by Piliavin and Briar provides a good illustration of direct observational techniques.

The researchers rode in police cars with juvenile officers during their regular patrol shifts.Deviance is defined as the recognized violation of cultural norms. Learn more about the definition and some of the major theories attached to deviance and test your knowledge with a quiz.

By “social construction of deviance,” we understand deviance to be the outcome of different groups in society defining and labeling what is deviant.

Defining Deviancy Up Essay – Free Papers and Essays Examples

For example, until recently, religion, medicine, and government defined homosexuality as a sin, a sickness, and a crime. I am not certain whether we were to wrap up our conversation yesterday or today, however, I will send at least one more message.

The quote from your last message is, of course, the crux of the. Any definition of virtue rests on an opposing idea of vice: There can be no good without evil and no justice without crime". Deviance defines moral boundaries, people learn right from wrong by defining people as deviant.

A serious form of deviance forces people . Jun 16,  · Defining Deviancy Down June 16, PM Subscribe Moynihan started from Emile Durkheim 's proposition that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" (called the "Durkheim Constant").

Defining Deviance is a slim volume, pages divided into six chapters, leaving the author scant room to flesh out all of the intriguing arguments he raises in the introduction.

Although Rembis repeatedly stresses that his is not an institutional history, he has uncovered .

The Struggle Of Defining Deviance And Some Definitions. (Essay) | The world Around Us