This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Deviance In Society: Wideman's Our Time

1664 words - 7 pages

Often, when a story is told, it follows the events of the protagonist. It is told in a way that justifies the reasons and emotions behind the protagonist actions and reactions. While listening to the story being cited, one tends to forget about the other side of the story, about the antagonist motivations, about all the reasons that justify the antagonist actions.

Deviance in Society
Wideman’s writing is uniquely phrased. It changes voices along the way to explore different sides and perspectives, leaving the readers wondering about basic concepts. When I finished reading “Our Time” I was confused about a lot of its aspects. Because Robby is displayed as the main protagonist as well as the main antagonist of the story, I was confused about Robby’s standings. Is Robby a criminal or a victim? What was John trying to say when he shared this story? Can someone be a criminal and a victim at the same time?
The story appears to be revolving around deviance. Deviance is defined as the violation of norms, whether the infraction is as grave as murder or as trivial as driving over the speed limit. However, what makes something deviant is not the act itself, but the reaction to the act. In this story, both Robby and John are deviants. John violated his society norms by doing something that is not expected of him. He became a scholar, married a white woman. This is not a bad thing in itself but the way John accomplished it is not good either. John pushed away his family and deliberately distanced himself from his Homewood community. This suggests that deviance is neutral in itself; it can be negative or positive. It is also relative, as it can be positive from one side and negative from the other. People often think of deviance as a negative thing. We cannot blame them because one of the specific forms of deviance is known as crime, the violation of rules that have been written into law. This is the deviance Robby was associated with. One might think that because crime is definitely an immoral act, Robby is guilty for sure. While there is no way denying Robby's guilt, we must consider what lead him to deviate the way he did.
There are many factors that lead the individual towards committing crimes. One of those factors is association. There is a theory called the differential association theory -developed by Edwin Sutherland- that states: From the different groups we associate with, we learn to deviate from or conform to society’s norms. The groups one associates with give him messages about conformity and deviance. This is somewhat the case with Robby. The group he associated with in Homewood certainly influenced him towards some of his later actions. Perhaps it was not as strong as to lead him to murder but it sure is a starting point. Family also plays an important part in teaching the individual attitudes. Robby might had received some mixed messages between his family and his friends but he ends up with more of one than...

Find Another Essay On Deviance In Society: Wideman's Our Time

Deviance in Society - The Sociology of Deviance

2215 words - 9 pages perceived by others and labelled as such.Changes in modern society have brought vast changes to the way we live our lives (Giddens 2001, p.573) and the development of modern society has had an enormous impact, not only on habits and types of behaviour, but on patterns of thought and feeling. The strength of this interactionist perspective is its belief that deviance is not a static phenomenon but rather a consequence of dynamic social interaction, which

Body Modification - Deviance in Society

2627 words - 11 pages groups.There is no doubt that body modification is an interesting topic of discussion and one that can only result in examination by society. Tattoos and piercings have been around for millennia, and for the majority of that time, they have always been accepted as a form of art, not mutilation. Body modification such as tattooing and piercing is not a bizarre form of deviance peripheral to society like many researchers signify but rather an

Drugs in Our Society

1258 words - 5 pages explored in our presentation asks what drugs are doing to our society. This means exploring the various groups that use recreational drugs their reasons for this the effects that drug use has and the methods to help prevent and stop use of drugs. By recreational drugs we mean such substances as marijuana and heavier more addictive drugs as heroin and cocaine. For which the use of these has increased throughout society over time.      Recreational

Advertising in our society

637 words - 3 pages . Advertisements have such a high level of advertising around the consumers that it is causing it to shape around us as a society. Today, advertising is shaping to our society because the companies are beginning to spend millions even billions of dollars to achieve a behavioral change. In the 1800s, industries ranging from soap, to canned goods, and to cigarettes introduced new productions to find new buyers. In this time was when national advertising

Fatherless in our society

917 words - 4 pages FatherlessMany decades ago, fathers were considered an integral part of the family. They were the ones who provided the food, the shelter and the money for the family. But as the time has passed, the word fatherhood has been losing its truly meaning. Society is getting used to see fatherhood as something with no value or without importance.Many people think that by having a father living at home means that they are in good communication with

Crime in our society

832 words - 3 pages The task of fighting crime is becoming more complex, and therefore more challenging. Criminals are becoming more organised and sophisticated, operating with little regard for national boundaries.What is Crime?Crime has so many faces, and is perpetrated by people at so many different levels of our society that you may ask yourself what exactly it is.The answer is simple; crime is any activity in conflict with a just law - laws made to protect the

Poverty in Our Society

3218 words - 13 pages Poverty in Our Society In this assignment I intend to show an awareness of the concepts, definitions and measurements of poverty, of the groups experiencing poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. I will then discuss Government anti-poverty policies, legislation and how social work can respond to poverty. I shall now discuss the

Animals In Our Society

1580 words - 6 pages human behavior is more intricate and difficult to describe. Animals are familiar creatures to us, which mutely encourage projection of people’s emotions and attitudes onto them. Animals can be used and as we have learned most recently, they are used to convey deep dimensions of human feelings and ideas. When I think of animals, their representation and their symbolism in our society, I immediately think of animals used in and for advertising. So

Racism in Our Society

1524 words - 6 pages The renowned French sociologist Emile Durkheim (1897/1951) asserted in his groundbreaking tome Suicide: A Study in Sociology, education “is only the image and reflection of society. It imitates and reproduces the latter in abbreviated form; it does not create it” (p. 372). The statements, therefore, of Nieto and Bode (2008) relative to the failure of our schools to provide all students regardless of their background or situation with equal

Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time

1389 words - 6 pages 'The times, they are a changing,' famous words spoken by Bob Dylan, a king of his generation. 'Lost generations,' is an interesting phrase, but what kind of meaning should it hold? Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time is a true representation of a 'lost generation' for the simple reason that all generations are eventually lost as time goes by. Hemingway focuses on a generation he knows a great deal about- his own. It becomes apparent throughout the

Hemingway’s In Our Time (CRH)

785 words - 3 pages Hemingway’s In Our Time (CRH) In Our Time was accepted with great critical acclaim upon its publication in 1924. Widely lauded and recognized as the work of a rising literary star, as Herschel Brickell said, “Mr. Hemingway’s book carries on its dust-covers the enthusiastic recommendations of nearly everybody,” and, “The men who praise In Our Time know good work when they see it.” It was both a continuation of

Similar Essays

Comparison Of James Baldwin's Essay "Notes Of A Native Son" And John Wideman's Collection Of Homewood Stories "Our Time."

959 words - 4 pages In James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son", Baldwin's father contracted a disease and passed away. Similarly in John Wideman's collection of Homewood stories "Our Time." Wideman's brother Robby had a friend die of a terminal disease. The death of this close relation led both James Baldwin and Roby Wideman into a spiral of remorse and frustration. "The moment I saw him I knew why I had put off the visit so long....I hated him....and

Cultures And Subcultures Within Our Society Explore The Different Cultures As Well As Subcultures Within Our Society. How Do These Develop And Change Over Time? Written In An Mla Structure

2052 words - 8 pages helps us grow numb, but admitting we are the root of our misery is one of the most painful and difficult roads we must follow, and somewhere down that road, society forces us to make a choice. The choice we make will shape us for the rest of our lives and only a few manages to find a way back. It is during this time people find their place in society, which in a number of cases may be difficult, since some may not accept that someone who is

Deviance In Society Essay

648 words - 3 pages What does it mean to say, “deviance is socially defined?”      Deviance is defined as, “The recognized violation of cultural norms.” Deviance is an act of rebellion against set of rules, and expected behavior established by a certain society. Deviance is defined in many different ways. It is depended on the norms of the society, and region. Individuals become deviant when people label their actions as deviance. It

Deviance In Society Essay

1587 words - 6 pages members are expected to act, and draws a line between what is acceptable and unacceptable. Despite efforts to enforce norms through social control, there are many people who deviate from these norms. Deviance is behavior that violates the standards of a group or society (Witt, 2013, p. 135). The act of deviance comes in many forms that range from harmless acts like a girl shaving her head, or it might be an action that is more extreme like