Brianna Zukowski10 December, 2018Sociology 380Z1793609Deviant DemiWhen it comes to deviance, everything is relative. The time, culture, place, and group of people all contribute to determining whether something is the norm or not. Depending on the severity of the deviance, whomever performs the action can get a lot of attention. A prime example of this is Demi Lovato, a deviant with power. Lovato has contributed to deviant acts such as drug addiction, rehabilitation, and openly admitting to her mental health issues. Luckily, she is a celebrity, and does not live a normal life as most of society does. The media has exposed her stigma to the public, but has created something other than the usual moral panic. Demi Lovato is a deviant, but her subculture of being a celebrity allows her to be stigmatised in a less critical way. She will always have the “sticky label” of a drug addict with mental health issues, but she is not objectified in a way that other groups are. The combination of her fans’ support, looking at her deviance with a “naturalistic approach”, along with her avowal, is allowing her to slowly regain a better identity, thus instead of a moral panic about her drug use, she has instead sparked an awareness. In America, celebrities are exposed for their deviant actions in the media. As a society, wetend to be interested in these deviant acts, watching them on TV and reading about them in the news. However, we usually do not accept their stigma because they are different values from our own, and society has long since determined that these acts are wrong. In many cases, this creates a moral panic, but for some, it does not. The media chooses how it wants to portray the deviants,
controlling society’s reactions. Normally, when the media finds out about a celebrity who has a drug addiction, they are negatively stigmatised. The media then starts a moral panic, condemning the individual and creating a fear of the deviance spreading further. The individual is all over the news for a short period of time, and then suddenly everyone forgets about them and the potential harm of their deviance. As an article in the national post stated, “Thirty years ago it was different. North America was gripped by fear of this demon drug that seemed to turn men into thieves, women into prostitutes, and children into orphans. “Crack babies” were said to be doomed and the “crack house” became the ultimate imageof urban despair. Today, crack use has settled down into yet another addiction problem, no more terrifying to the culture than OxyContin or crystal meth. But old stereotypes die hard. ‘Everybody’s over crack,’ said Dawn Moore, author of Criminal Artefacts: Governing Drugs and Users” (Brean 2013). There once was a moral panic about drug use, but now it has diminished. By the time Demi Lovato was announced to have a drug problem, society was aware of her stigma, but was not so panicked about it. Instead, she was covered in the media with her avowal and reasoning behind her deviance, helping her to gain a better identity.