3 | Page
The word deviant could mean a several things, people take deviant as an insult, a term used to describe individuals that refuse to follow the rules of society and act out in an uncivilized manner.
In sociology, the word deviant simply means to be non-normative.Normative: a word used to define the establishment of a norm or standard, especially in behaviour.
Functionalists say that deviance is a part of human existence and is required to maintain social stability. Emile Durkheim argued that the existence of deviant behavior helps to identify socially acceptable behavior.
Durkheim also founded the term anomie which describes a social condition where norms are weak or absent.
Travis Hirschi (1935-) argued that to achieve conformity to the social standards, a strong bond between the individuals and society must exist.
Symbolic interactionists, on the other hand, focus on the development of self-concept and how people learn to conform by interaction with others (socialization). The differential association theory by Edwin Sutherland (1883-1950) focuses on the role of social groups (e.g. the family) in the transmission of deviance.
Howard Becker (1928-) founded the labeling theory. This theory states that deviance is derived from people who have been labeled as such by others. Edwin Lemert was able to separate primary deviance from secondary deviance.
He defined primary deviance as deviance involving the occasional breaking of social standards, and secondary deviance as one in which an individual’s life is centered round braking social norms. Secondary deviance is one that occurs from being called deviant.
Deviance and Crime (criminal gangs).
In sociology, crime represents the deviation from the norms of society and is subject to social control (formal sanctions). Social control is a process in which the society attempts to control people's behaviors in ways that limit or punish deviance.
According to Emile Durkheim, deviance helps to define the limits of acceptable behavior. Criminals that are formally sanctioned for...