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Flashcards in Deviance Deck (17):


Behaviour that does not conform to the norms or values held by most members of a group or society. What is viewed as deviant varies across cultures and time.



Rules of conduct that specify appropriate behaviour in a given range of social situations. A norm either prescribes of forbids a type of behaviour.



Ideas held by individuals or groups about what is desirable, proper, good and bad.


Social Control

The process of enforcing conformity and minimising deviancy using authority to enforce norms


Durkheim's functionalist theory of deviance.

A sociological theory that interprets each part of society in terms of how it contributes to the stability of the whole society.


Affirmation of society's cultural norms and values (Durkheim's theory of deviance)

Deviancy identifies the value of a norm by differentiating between right and wrong behaviour and is used to justify the benefits of the norm.


Clarification of society's moral boundaries (Durkheim's theory of deviance)

Norms are understood when deviancy exposes their values to society.


Unification of others in society (Durkheim's theory of deviance)

People with different opinions and beliefs are united by deviancy when it shoes the extent to which they share common norms and values.


Social control theories of deviance

Theories that focus on people avoiding deviant behaviour


Hirschi's theory of deviance

Travis Hirschi's theory asserts that people violate social norms because they lack social bonds to significant others (e.g. family, social or work)


Attachment (Hirschi's theory of deviance)

Deivancy is minimised when an individual has strong social bonds with positive role models, encouraging conformity to shared social norms


Commitment (Hirschi's theory of deviance)

Deviancy is minimised when an individual doe snot want to risk losing investments such as the positive regard of others


Involvement (Hirschi's theory of deviance)

Social integration with others minimises deviancy through participation in socially approved activities


Belief (Hirschi's theory of deviance)

Sharing the same moral values creates agreement and reduces deviancy


Encouraging social change (Durkheim's theory of deviance)

Modern societies express greater levels of deviancy due to social structures allowing for greater differences in people's beliefs and life-styles. The diverse range of deviances allows competition between norms promoting social change and innovation.


Becker's interactionist theory of deviance

Interactionists argue that there are no behaviours that are intrinsically deviant. They suggest that deviant actions are simply those which are defined as deviant within a society



A sociological theory that suggests that no status or behaviour is inherently deviant until other people have judged it and categorised it as so.