As we all have observed, throughout history each culture or society has unique norms that are acceptable to that group of people. Therefore, to establish and come to the acceptance of these basic norms, each society must develop its’ own strategies and techniques to encourage the fundamentals of behavior, which is clear in our modern society. Most do assume that everyone in a society will follow and respect such norms. However, some tend to deviate from the adequate norms and demonstrate deviant behavior. Nevertheless, we are inclined to ask ourselves, why do people decide to violate such important standards of living?
To come to understand why people act with deviant behavior, we must comprehend how society brings about the acceptance of basic norms. The “techniques and strategies for preventing deviant human behavior in a society” are called social control (Schaefer, 2009). As we respect and acknowledge these social norms we expect others to do so as well. Therefore, according to our behavior sanctions are carried out whether they are positive or negative. Conformity, which refers to “going along with peers, people of our own status who have no special right to direct our behavior” (Schaefer, 2009), is one way social control occurs in a group level which influence the way we act. On the other hand, obedience is the compliance with a higher authority, resulting in social control at a societal level. The sanctions used to promote these factors can be informal and formal social control. Informal social control can be very casual in enforcing social norms by using body language or other forms of discipline, however formal social control is carried out by authorized agents when desired behavior is not obtained by informal sanctions, such social control can result in the imprisonment of an individual. Some of these social norms become highly significant in a society and may become laws. According to the control theory, as we network with the members of our society we will ultimately conform to these norms.
Hence, those who violate these norms result in exhibiting deviance, or a behavior that violates society’s social standards. A person can gain this deviant behavior by physical or behavioral traits, thus acquiring a negative or positive social stigma. The term stigma is used to categorize the labels a society uses to diminish a definite group of people. Unfortunately, most people are stigmatized by their past acts of deviant behavior that they may not be engaging in, for example an ex-convict or ex- mental patient. Technology and new innovations have also contributed to having an influence in social interactions and standards of behavior. Many of the illegal acts done in the internet including pirating software or music have no social stigma attached to them due the approval of the online community.
At the same time as people continue to disobey social norms and deviate from societal expectations, sociologist draw to five sociological...