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Compare and Contrast the Main Sociological Theories of Deviance.
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COMPARE AND CONTRAST THE MAIN SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF DEVIANCE
Deviance is a wide-ranging term used by sociologists to refer to behaviour that varies, in some way, from a social norm. In this respect, it is evident that the concept of deviance refers to some form of "rule-breaking" behaviour. In relation to deviance, therefore, the concept relates to all forms of rule-breaking whether this involves such things as murder, theft or arson - the breaking of formal social rules - or such things as wearing inappropriate clothing for a given social situation, failing to produce homework at school or the breaking of relatively informal social rules. In practice, the study of deviance is usually limited to deviance that results in negative sanctions. In fact, the American sociologist, M. Clinard, has suggested that the term deviance should only be applied to behaviour that is disapproved of, and punished by a community.
Non-sociological understanding of deviance tends to acknowledge the presence of something within the individual that compels, or at least orientates, them to commit certain acts. It is vitally important to recognise that deviance is relative, the context in which behaviour occurs is crucial to how it will be evaluated. This
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