Socio 101 - Ch7 - The Nature of Deviance Deviance any...

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Ch. 7      Deviance and Social Control     The Nature of Deviance Deviance  - any behavior that departs from societal or group norms Positive Deviance  – Behavior that overconforms social expectations o Idealization of group norms that leads to extreme perfectionism  Ex. Overconformists who become excessively thin Negative Deviance  – Behavior that underconforms to accepted norms o Either reject, misinterpret, or are unaware of the norms Ex. Underconformists who become excessively obese Sociologists reserve the term deviance for violations of significant social norms. Significant  norms are those that are most important to the members of society or those with the most  power o Deviant  – a person who violates on or more of society’s most highly valued norms. There behavior is not necessarily good nor bad, however it usually draws a  negative response from others. C onditions Affecting Definitions of Deviance   A Major problem sociologists have in defining deviance is its relativity Deviance label depends on three circumstances o The social status and power of the individuals involved Lower-class people are more likely to be labeled deviants o The social context in which the behavior occurs Behavior considered deviant in one society may be acceptable and even  encouraged in others Deviance is also relative from group to group within the same society Also varies in geographical locations o The historical period in which the behavior takes place Views and beliefs change over time (Ex. legalization of marijuana) Forms of Social Control Social control  – means for promoting conformity to norms o 2 types of social control Internal – lies within the individual and is acquired during the socialization  process Internalization of social norms – The norm against stealing has become a  part of the individual; Most people most of the time refrain from stealing,  not just because they fear arrest or lack the opportunity to steal, but  because they consider theft to be wrong. Socialization does not ensure the conformity of all people all of the time
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External – exists outside the individual and is based on sanctions designed to  encourage behavior Positive sanctions encourage conformity while negative sanctions are  intended to stop socially unacceptable behavior Biological and Psychological Explanations of Deviance Recent research has not
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