Deviant Behaviour

Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Deviance Pages: 3 (474 words) Published: May 12, 2013
What is deviant behaviour?

Deviant behaviour is any behaviour that does not conform to generally

accepted social or cultural norms and expectations. Murder is a classic

exemplar of extreme deviant behaviour as, according to the cultural

norms of our society, killing another human being is unacceptable. There

are many different theories on what provokes someone to commit a

deviant act, including physiological explanations and psychological


Deviance, in everyday language, is the act of being different from the

popular belief, usually in a bad way. That being said, in order to

understand and define a person’s behaviour we must first study the

cultural norms of the society surrounding him. Norms vary across

cultures and, in some situations, what is considered as deviant behaviour

in a particular society and time may be seen as acceptable in another. For

example, there was a time when it was a social norm for the ladies of the

Western world to wear gloves in public but such an act would nowadays

be considered as bizarre, unless the weather was cold. The determination

of deviant behaviour depends on the general population or an individual.

A common question is what triggers people to perform deviant

behaviour. From the perspective of physiology, brain variations lead to

expressions of deviance. They claim that genetically inherited

characteristics such as chromosome abnormalities, chemical imbalances,

vitamin deficiencies and hormonal differences make certain people

naturally more prone to criminality. However, many sociologists tend to

respond negatively to such theories. While there is some evidence to

suggest that inheritance and the biochemistry of the brain may be factors

in abnormal behaviours, biological factors on their own cannot interpret


On the other hand, psychologists are interested in the thought

processes behind deviant...
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