Deviance acts as a violation of social norms characterized as "any thought, feeling or action that members of a social group judge to be a violation of their values or rules".1 Social norms are viewed as the actions or behaviors and cues within a society or group. This sociological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.”2 It indicates the established and approved ways of doing things, of dress, of speech and of appearance. Social norm is also described as the "customary rules of behavior that coordinate our interactions with others."3 These rules may be explicit or implicit. They are often incorporated in the law and failure to follow the rules can result in severe punishments, including imprisonment or exclusion from the group. These vary and evolve not only through time but also different from one age group to another and between social classes and social groups. What is supposed to believe how we should behave in one social group may not be accepted in another. Deviance is a result of a set of beliefs and interpretations and as behaviors and actions that oppose established social norms, harm either one or others, or both and interfere with the smooth running of society. The person who violates the rules set concerning the traditional and customary ways of the society is perceived to be a “deviant”. It is people’s beliefs and interpretations of certain actions or behaviors that determine what is to be labeled “deviant”.
Deviance is divided into two types of deviant activities: formally enacted rules and informal violation. The first type of deviant behavior such as “crime is the violation of formally enacted laws and is referred to as formal deviance”.4Examples of formal deviance would include: robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault. The second type of deviant behavior refers to violations of informal social norms, norms that have not
References: Delos Reyes, Aloma M. (1993). Understanding Deviant Behavior. Syner Aide Resesources Research Publications. Antipolo, Rizal. Sousa, David A. (2009). How the Brain Influence Behavior (Strategies for Every Classroom). Corwin Press, California. pp.89-91 Rogers, Bill (2011)