Deviance and the Correctional System

Topics: Crime, Sociology, Criminology Pages: 3 (840 words) Published: May 1, 2011
Deviance is any form of behavior that violates the norms of a society. Behavior that is considered deviant is usually condemned and often punished. Crime is a more dangerous and extreme form of deviance. The term can be defined as a deviant type of behavior that is prohibited by law and is punishable by the government. Many laws divide crimes into categories depending on the seriousness of the offense, the age of the offender, the punishment that can be administered and the actual court. According to sociologists there are multiple explanations for crime and sociologists have created different theories. Also, there are many types of activities that are considered crime and the criminal justice system has the responsibility to keep all citizens of a country safe and secure.

To explain deviance, many scientists have contributed to theories and ideas. There are biological, psychological, and sociological explanations. The sociological theorists have different perspectives. According to functionalists, deviance is a common part of human society and it has both positive and negative consequences for social stability. Sociologists with a conflict perspective view deviance as the result of competition and social inequality. It is an idea that people that are deviant with a power break norms in an effort to keep that power. Deviant people without power act to obtain some form of power or to compensate for feelings of powerlessness and self-esteem. Another way of looking at it is the interactionist perspective. Interactionists focus on everyday interactions among people and how they influence people to commit deviant acts. In my opinion, this theory seems to be the one that sounds correct to me and I agree with the interactionist ideas.

When deviance takes the form of lawbreaking, it is criminal behavior. The FBU tabulates data for seven main crimes which are murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny theft and motor vehicle theft. There are other types of...
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