Critically discuss the article in relation to the conceptual tools studied in the Deviance module. Introduction
Amanda du Toit was labelled as a deviant by society because of her previous murder conviction. Even though she had severed her sentence, she was still a victim of the public’s labelling and stigmatisation. Outside the rule of law she was now a free individual but inside the sphere of society she still remained a deviant. This essay aims to give the various definitions of deviance putting more emphasis on how it is a social construct and the various theories that are connected to deviance. At the same instance this essay will differentiate crime and deviance showing how the two terms are related to the Amanda du Toit incidence. Lastly this essay aims to discuss the concept of stigma management and labelling and how differently people react to deviant labels that they are given by society. Definitions of Deviance
Deviance is defined as a social construct that identifies and labels acts or behaviour that are regarded as contrary to the norms of society. It is can be created and destroyed by society. For example the act of cannibalism or murder is a deviant act in that it is regarded as being against the norms and the values of a particular society. In this case when Amanda du Toit murdered her younger sister she was labelled as a deviant because murder is regarded as a deviant act in the society that she was in. Deviance also context specific and thus it differs across different societies. In this sense what is deviant in one society is not deviant in another. However this contradicts with the absolutist definition of deviance which shall be discussed below. The absolutist definition of deviance
The absolutist definition of deviance states that there are some acts of deviance that are universally applied regardless of the society that they are placed in. In this respect they are not context specific. There is no argument about what is deviant and what...
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