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1 Deviant behavior.docx

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Carleton University
SOCI 2445
Darryl Davies

Deviant behavior What do we mean by ‘deviant behavior’? - Society set norms and people who go against them - Individuals with controlling influences norms - Voting on cell phone banning – people do not vote because they are not always given the opportunity to vote, it is govt making the rules - The power to make the rules (govt) and the power to enforce the rules - Lady is at the cash which allows 1-8 items and she has 9 items. Elderly lady behind her complains and expects the person to go to different cash. Cashier agrees and asks lady to go to another one. Lady takes the extra item out and pays for her 8 items, then proceeds to swear at the elderly lady. Nearby clerk bursts out into laughter. Who is deviant in this scenario...?? How has deviant behavior been defined throughout the ages? - Deviant illogical – deviant behavior – people who practice witch craft 1. Demonology based – Demonological approach: someone behaves in a logically irrational ways - Trying to explain behavior by things like witch craft, demon forces, good and bad, etc.. - You are possessed or your behavior is influenced by the spiritual world 2. Another way is through physiological defects – beliefs such as you can determine criminals from non-criminals, by the shape of their heads - Peculiarities- receding foreheads, weak chins, flared nostrils - These differences make you deviant from the population - Has its origins in physiological defects 3. Statistical definition of deviance – defining anything that is deviant as any behavior out of the norm – ex. Using left hand, blonde hair, etc... 4. Deviance as Pathological behavior- when a person is sick or has a disease they are deviant – because the majority of people are healthy – for ex. Mental illness, overweight, sick with diseases, etc... - Depending on how much it deviates from the average of the population 5. Deviance as relativistic behavior- people who fail to abide by group rules (notion of rule breaking) 6. Dangerous behavior – serial killers, people who constitute a threat to individuals in society – threat to social order – seen as social disobedience and get labeled as criminal - When you go through all these definitions it is apparent there is not concrete definition, therefore you need to use different perspectives (constructionist and positivist) The Positivist Perspective: - Consists of 3 assumptions about what deviance is: • Absolutism: Deviance as absolutely real  Deviance is absolutely, intrinsically real; hence deviance or deviants can be subject of study • Objectivism: Deviance as an observable object  Deviance is an observable object; hence, objective research methods can be used • Determinism: Deviance as determined behavior  Deviance is determined behavior, a product of causation; hence causal, explanatory theory can be developed - Positivist perspective is more relevant to the study of serious deviant behavior (murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.) • Higher consensus deviance – serious enough to ear
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