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Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance
- Essay length: 9112 words
- Submitted: 12/04/2012
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CRIME AND DEVIANCE
Sociologists define deviance as behaviour that is recognised as violating expected rules and norms. Deviance is more than simple non-conformity; it is behaviour that departs significantly from social expectations. In the sociological perspective on deviance, there is subtlety that distinguishes it from commonsense understandings of the same behaviour.
* The sociological definition of deviance stresses social context, not individual behaviour. Sociologists see deviance in terms of group processes, definitions and judgements, not just as unusual individual acts.
* The sociological definition of deviance recognises that not all behaviours are judged similarly as all groups. What is deviant to one group may be normative (non-deviant) to another. Understanding what society sees as deviant also requires understanding the context that determines who has the power to judge some behaviours as deviant and others not.
* The sociological definition of deviance recognises that established rules and norms are socially created, not just morally decreed or individually imposed. Sociologists emphasise that deviance lies not just in behaviour itself, but also in the social responses of groups to the behaviour.
Sociologists distinguish between two types of deviance: formal and informal.
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