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The Outcome of the Social Reaction to a Deviant

The Outcome of the Social Reaction to a Deviant - The...

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The Outcome of the Social Reaction to a Deviant's Further Action: Interactionists have shown that deviant actions are, in part, an attempt to come to terms with any social reaction to primary deviation (for example, see the distinction Lemert makes between primary and secondary deviation ). What we need to understand, therefore, is the process by which a deviant responds to a social reaction (real or imagined). How, for example, will a deviant's behaviour be changed by the successful application of a criminal label? Unlike Interactionism, however, we cannot take for granted the reaction of the deviant , since "rule-breaking" behaviour involves an assessment, on the part of the deviant, of the likely gains and possible costs involved in deviation. In this respect, deviance can be seen as "planned", in that the deviant act involves some assessment of risk and, probably, knowledge about the likely extent of any social reaction. No-one, for example, ever contemplates theft safe in the knowledge of their certain capture...
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