I’m on my way to Sociology class one day this semester, my Tuesday and Thursday 2:00pm session with Gloria Clay. I find myself in a bit of a rush this afternoon. Slept in late, had a lot of errands to run, lost track of time. At least I’m grateful that the weather is nice and the traffic is sparse today, but this doesn’t eliminate the fact that I’m not going to be on time for class. I am trying to stay relaxed in this situation but little do you know, I really hate running late for everything. It’s about time my lead foot kicks in-- I find myself exceeding the speed limit. I actually get halfway to school when I notice the sporadic movement of blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. So here I am, hanging out in the shoulder of I-95, waiting for my new police buddy to come up to my car. The clock on my dashboard moves forward, I grow more late than I would be if I took my time driving to school. The officer approaches my window and the first thing he asks me, do I know why he pulled me over? I did. I was unlawfully speeding. It was then I realized and nevertheless questioned myself, if I know it is wrong why do I do it? And am I accepting my own deviant behavior?
Throughout this paper I hope to present to you and myself various explanations in which I have personally related to being causes of deviant behavior in today’s society.
Deviance is defined as a violation of rules or norms. Deviant behavior usually evokes formal and informal punishment, restrictions, or other controls of society. These formal and informal controls constrain most people to conform to social norms. Despite the social sanctioning and controlling, however, we sometimes observe deviant behavior around us. Then, why do some people engage in such deviant behavior even if social punishments are expected? Sociologists have attempted to explain it in various aspects.
I have found there to be three possible explanations for my actions of deviance: the psychological, biological, and the sociological answer.
I am going to focus on the sociological perspective, for I feel that it holds the most knowledge acquired for why people act defiantly.
I believe that most importantly, family is the link to socialization in any child’s environment. In a family, it is found that problems such as conflict, neglect, abuse, divorce, and deviant parents are major vindicates for a child’s actions. I have discovered this to be true through my own personal experiences. My parents had divorced when I was about thirteen, a critical time to me as far as maturing and growing up. There was an abundance of arguing, fighting, and an extension of conflict throughout the household. I am certain it took a toll on me, I began to rebel. My parents grew angry, I grew feisty. I saw it like this-- if they didn’t play by the rules, I didn’t have to either. Parents are role models, right? The break up of my mother and father’s marriage hit me hard, but I would not be surprised if they told me that my deviance during the time hit them harder. My example that I have presented proves to me, my own connection to a sociological explanation for deviant behavior.
The reality that the definition of deviant behavior is considered different by everyone makes it complicated and unknown if a truly accurate answer can ever be found. This is why this topic is important to the study of sociology. Early researches first only thought parental absence affects girls and whites, although in contrast, modern research finds that the lack of supervision, or support a child needs is a link to delinquency in any race and gender. It occurs more in single parent homes because they have a harder time doing those things. Poverty is also a reason in the family for conflict because it can lead to both family breakups and delinquency. Children need close, supportive relationships with parents. What promotes deviance in the home is the inhibition children have to communicate with their parents. The child may...
References: Pearson Education (2007). Social Problems.
Web site: http://ablongman.com/catalog/academic/course/0,1143,72402,00.html
Wolpe, Paul Root (2006). Explaining Social Deviance.
Web site: http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=675&pc=Science%20and%20Mathematics
Hamlin, John (1996) Sociological Theories of Deviance.
Web site: http://www.d.umn.edu/~jhamlin1/soc3305.html
Henslin, James M. (2007). Essentials of Sociology: A Down To Earth Approach.
(pp. 138-165). Chapter 6: Deviance and Social Control.
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