Social Deviance And Social Norms Essay

1191 words - 5 pages

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 dentures, steel implants for detachable "whiskers", and many other painful modifications. He did this to achieve oneness with what he calls his totem, the female tiger. Avner considered himself bi-sexual. He associated with the furry culture, and attended several furry conventions. Imagine how he would have been looked at thirty years ago.
Appearance modification is the lighter side of social deviance. Other forms of deviance include serial murder, incest, rape and pedophilia. One of the most famous of violent social deviance would have to be Theodore Bundy. Theodore Bundy was a serial murderer and rapist. He killed dozens of women across four states. He was executed, by way of electrocution, in Florida in 1989. He was an extreme case of social deviance.
Rape is an awful, but real type of social deviance. Whether it is from a stranger, friend, relative or even a husband; According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National, Network) an American is assaulted every two minutes.
In other cultures, rape is a way of marrying the women of your choice. “Marriage by capture” practiced in Hmong culture. Hmong men simply pick a girl, take her to their home and rape her, then they are considered married. To Americans, that is a...

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