Devience

Topics: Sociology, Philip Zimbardo, Norm Pages: 4 (586 words) Published: May 6, 2014


The definition of deviance, in a sociological context, describes actions or behaviors that violate social norms, including formally-enacted rules such as crime, as well as informal violations of social norms such as rejecting folkways and mores. It is the work of sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and criminologists to study how these norms are created, how they change over time, and how they are enforced. Norms are rules and expectations by which members of society are conventionally guided. Deviance is an absence of conformity to these norms. Social norms differ from culture to culture. For example, a deviant act can be committed in one society that breaks a social norm there, but may be normal for another society. Viewing deviance as a violation of social norms, sociologists have characterized it as any thought, feeling, or action that members of a social group judge to be a violation of their values or rules or group conduct, which violates definitions of appropriate and inappropriate conduct shared by the members of a social system. The departure of certain types of behavior from the norms of a particular society at a particular time and violation of certain types of group norms where behavior is in a disapproved direction and of sufficient degree to exceed the tolerance limit of the community. Deviance can be relative to time and place because what is considered deviant in one social context may be non-deviant in another just like in Philip Zimbardo’s “Broken Windows Theory”. In this theory, Zimbardo conducted an experiment on human nature. He abandoned two similar cars in different neighborhoods, one in the heart of the Bronx, NY, the other in a wealthy neighborhood in Palo Alto, CA. He removed the license plates, left the hoods open, and watched to see what happened. In the Bronx, within 10 minutes of abandonment, people began stealing parts from the car. It took approximately three days to strip the car of all valuable parts. Once stripped...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Crime and Devience

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free