Deviance is best described as actions that go against society’s norms. When one commits an act of deviance, they are performing an act that is not necessarily illegal or frowned up, but it is an action that deviates away from peoples’ common notions. Deviance itself does not measure anything of magnitude. If someone were to cough without covering their mouth, that can be considered deviance, as can murdering someone out of cold-blood. Many go by the idea that “deviance is relative.” This simply means that deviance is a dynamic concept, which can be altered through time and place. For example, it’s considered a more appropriate setting to make offensive jokes with your friends than to do so in the middle of an exam.
Deviance also has strong functions in society. By setting social norms, we set a living and social standard for society. When we define what is and isn’t acceptable, we change ourselves to conform to certain rules. An example of this would be comparing two children going to different schools in different economic areas. A child going to a very wealthy school is more probable to be more disciplined to social norms, whereas a child going to a poor school in a lower class environment may not be disciplined enough or won’t become accustomed to social norms as easily.
I was instructed to perform an act of deviance. I decided that I would commit deviance by going outside at 2 AM and sounding off an air horn. There wasn’t necessarily a present audience, but windows were open everywhere since the weather had been nice. Immediately after sounding the airhorn, I could hear dogs barking from all directions since everybody in my neighborhood owns dogs. I went inside and surprisingly, no one in my house had even woken up. Although this was a simple act of deviance, I know that I must’ve woken a good amount of people. I did not regret this action one bit though. It had to be done for science.
The social norm I was breaking was the idea that silence should be...
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