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Deviance is in the eye of the beholder discuss

Discuss" [I decided to upload this essay I wrote deviance is in the eye of the beholder discuss deviance while I was studying criminology at uni. Deviance can be defined both collectively and individually. Deviance as a whole affects society, but the individuals who make up that society, according to their various cultural and social backgrounds, can also interpret it morally Goode 1994 — 2008 Therefore, deviance is a very subjective topic to study.

But there must be a line drawn between criminal deviance and non-criminal deviance, and the primary characteristics that define both.

The problem with this definition is that it does not differentiate in a psychological sense between criminal and non-criminal deviant behaviour. Because criminally deviant behaviours and actions are handled by a court of law or a court-approved forensic mental health expert, non-criminal deviant behaviours are not given enough attention and are sometimes stereotyped with criminal behaviour.

The variety of cultures, traditions and environments incorporating both in the world means that any deviant behaviour in one society may not be deviant in another, but that other society's deviance may be the norm for another society. This goes further into the individual level, where one person may see something as deviant while another may not.

Members of these social movements attempt to make their opinions legitimately recognized both legally and politically Pontell 2004. Criminal deviance is most certainly not in the eye of the beholder. Extremely deviant activities, such as murder, are always frowned upon by society except for in the case of war. In addition, this provides an example of a country who go to war to defend their country, and their enemies who view their actions as deviant and in turn react with actions considered deviant by the other country.

  • He argues that deviance is simply forms of behaviour that powerful agencies of social control define or label as such 4 Who are ethnomethodologists?
  • Another line must be drawn between psychological and sociological deviance;
  • Moreover, they give the context the freedom to define what behavior is fit for punishment or not; and that human behavior depends on the motives why they are being enacted.

But there are different types of laws enforced regarding deviance: Some deviant behaviours fit into all three. For example, murder and sexual assault come under empirical law, as they can be formally charged by a judge operating under written law. Formal law encompasses deviant behaviour such as verbal assault and public nuisance, as there are no written laws regarding these actions, only statutes and formal opinions that can be brought up in a court of law. Other deviant behaviours such as swearing, littering and vandalism come under enforced law, as there is no written laws based on these behaviours but the deviant in question can be charged according to the seriousness of the offence.

Some deviant behaviours can not be enforced by law, but can be rehabilitated effectively because of their correlations with mental illness.

Deviance: In the eye of the beholder? Essay

Suicide can be directly compared to a loss of social interaction, and efficient, productive social interaction can be considered a social norm. Thus, suicide is a form of deviance Rushing 1969. Examples of non-criminal deviance includes a range of behaviours, from public nose picking to homosexuality and alcoholism.

The difference between some illegal acts and legal but deviant acts are not that different, according to criminology studies.

Theories of Deviance, 2010. Non-criminal deviants may still be ordered by a court to be rehabilitated in mental hospitals. Essentially, the judge and jury draw the line between criminal deviance, harmful non-criminal deviance and harmless non-criminal deviance; and non-criminal deviants are committed via court to a mental hospital, many of their rights are lost in the period of time they are to spend in the hospital.

Deviance is in the Eye of the Beholder Essay

Another line must be drawn between psychological and sociological deviance. Psychological deviance affects only the mind of the deviant up until the point where it becomes evident in that deviant's actions while interacting with society.

One can fantasise about deviant actions, but until one executes those fantasies in real life the problem is only in their mind. Psychological deviance requires rehabilitation, whereas sociological deviance requires correction a stricter version of rehabilitation ordered by a court of law or representative of the state. Goode 1994 — 2008. The small but present dichotomy between these two types of deviant behaviour are essential to understanding the nature of deviance and how it affects society, and also the way it is studied from a criminological and a sociological perspective.

Are committers of deviant behaviours born or made?

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The nature versus nurture topic is an important one, both in sociology as a whole and in the study of criminal and non-criminal deviant behaviours. One theory suggests that all people are born with the capacity to commit violence, but may or may not actually commit violent crimes depending on environmental, developmental and cultural factors Raine 1993. Environmental and developmental factors may include other types of deviance such as domestic abuse, parental alcoholism and early exposure to sex and sexuality.

But from the perspective of the deviant being raised in this environment, these actions aren't deviant because they have come to understand them as being normal. This is similar to a hypothetical situation where a vegan sees someone eating meat and views it as deviant, while the meat-eater views his or her actions as completely normal. To draw a conclusion regarding the above statements and opinions, it can be proven that deviance most certainly is in the eye of the beholder in the ways that that beholder's eye perceives the world according to their socio-cultural background.

While deviance can be easily defined in a broad context, individual opinions on deviance and deviants vary as does the legal definition and enforcement of criminal and non-criminal deviant acts.

Each culture rigidly defines deviance according to their morally-influenced laws, but individual opinions of deviance as a whole influence mass opinion, which leads to social change. The last century of human history has shown that these definitions and the deviants themselves are changing, and that what was once considered deviant in the past is a social norm in the present, while some beaviours considered deviant in the present were a norm in the past.

Thus, the eye of the beholder which is viewing deviance is not just the individual or the collective, but also the backward glance into history which humanity in the present can learn and make changes in their opinions from.

Judith Bessant, Rob Watts. Matsueda, 'Cultural Deviance Theory';: The Remarkable Persistence of a Flawed Term.

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Theoretical Criminology 1997 1: Edwards, 'Law and the Parameters of Acceptable Deviance'. Journal of Law and Criminology50 2006-2007. Rushing, 'Deviance, Interpersonal Relations and Suicide'. Human Relations 1969 22: Readings in Theory and Research' 5th Edition 2004 Posted by.