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SOC 505 Deviance

4 Pages

Course Code
SOC 505
Nicole Neverson

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There is a piece written by Gladwell (2013) in The New Yorker Magazine provided on Blackboard. You are responsible for reading it in addition to this week‟s textbook chapters. Working definition of ‘deviance’  “Deviance is any thought, action or feeling that runs contrary to social standards or expectations. It can be considered rule-breaking behaviour. Deviance can be thought of on a continuum of tolerable behaviour. For instance, on one end there is tolerable behaviour, on the other, extremely problematic or unacceptable behaviour and all the shades of grey in between” (Wilbert Leonard II, 1998).  Deviance is constricted by time; what may be deviant now may not be deviant in 10 years  Deviance depends on who is making the definition But what about something like Billy Bean from Moneyball? Is he being a deviant in the way he revolutionized baseball statistics? Because people associate sports with building character; deviance on the field is seen as a sign that the fabric of societal morality is eroding. Problems with Deviance in Sports Those involved in sports, especially the athletes, are governed by many different sets of regulations  Determine what is permitted and what isn‟t  Could include “team rules” – curfew, diet, punctuality, etc o Unwritten rules also fall under this category  What is considered normal in one sport may be deviant in another o Tennis players giving up points when ref makes incorrect call would be seen as deviant in soccer Actions being accepted in sports that may be “deviant” in other spheres of society, and actions accepted in society that may be ”deviant” in sports.  Actions of players for sport may be criminal on the street; like boxing or racing  Athletes who take same supplements as millions of non-athletes may be fined and banned from the sport entirely because in that sport, it is deviant  Coaches treat players in a way that if teachers treated students like this, it would be criminal or “deviant”  The norms in sports are different from the norms in other social worlds  We view motives of people in sports as positive because what they do, while it may be extreme and even violent, they do for their team, which is seen as a good thing The types and causes of “deviance” in sports are so diverse that no single theory can explain all of them.  Breaking curfew, alcohol abuse, getting into fights, abusing women, hazing etc.  Too many potential deviant acts to name! Training and performance in sports are now based on such new forms of science and technology that people have not yet developed norms to guide and evaluate the actions of athletes and others in sports.  Science and medicine were once only used for people who were ill  Athletes push their bodies to the limit – need miracles of science to stay on the field  They push their bodies using vitamins and supplements so they can be all they can be “Deviance” in sports often involves and unquestioned acceptance of norms, rather than a rejection of norms.  Sports involves excitement and action, more accepting of crazy shit when it happens  All the crazy shit athletes do would be deviant in normal society  This leads many to see athletes as role models, even if what they do isn‟t safe in regular, everyday life
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