Sociology of deviance Essay Example

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Sociology 7

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In any social setting there are believes, values, norms and traditional practices that are being observed by the individuals who exist within that society. All these practices are aimed at maintaining order, discipline and sanity among individual behaviors within any given society. Violations and disrespect of these cultural practices tend to subject many individuals to suffering. Social norms act as basis for setting up laws that govern and protect individuals’ rights within the society. These values and norms do differ depending on certain issues which range from geographical setting, behaviors and cultures. This discussion will do a detailed review of sociological deviance by doing a detailed analysis to establish whether it is dead or not and if using other different is the best way of checking the deviance from the social norms as stated by Doug (2004).

Deviance as a term can be defined in relation to social to refer those actions that generate specific results that are totally against the cultural norms. These actions are defined as taking a different course of action in performing some functions which are not in line with the accepted values and norms. In simpler terms deviance means doing something that is against the cultural law. These behaviors do violate the rights of individuals and if not well taken care of they can cause torture and even permanent psychological suffering. To some level sociological deviance can lead to death more so incases where the victims do not get appropriate assistance or incase they fear disclosing what happens to them fearing victimization. The common victims to sociological deviance may include the elderly, young children, women and the disabled as stated by Stark (2007).

Is sociological deviance dead?

Sociology of deviance as a concept, was aimed at helping the society to come up with ways by which can be used to curb individuals from committing social crimes. However, the big challenge to social crimes has been its persistence and evolving complexity. The sociological of deviance as a study since it is inception has not done much in supporting the fight against any social related crimes. For example in the case of the study that was done in US Department of Health Survey Sept 1996, revealed socking results on young children suffered greatly more so in terms of health given the conditions that they were subjected into either by their parents, teachers as well as carers. According to this report, many of the children were suffering from malnutrition, by up to around 78%. Given the fact their parents were very much aware of their social roles in bringing up young children, the sociology of deviance could not convince the parents in recognizing the best ways possible of bringing up young children. Many of these children were affected from birth where many of the parents could not breastfeed their young ones. Of the malnutrited children, 62% of them are victims of lack of breastfeeding. This clearly indicates that the society was still far from respecting the social norms by do things in the right way as illustrated by Donal, & Andrew (1993).

Sociology of deviance has further failed to address a number of issues in the society which have posed a great challenge to the state to put in place various mechanisms that can allow each and every person to be fully responsible on their actions. This can be witnessed from the same report whereby parents cannot live together in order to give their children the parental love as the social norm. Separation of parents after sometime gives as enough evidence to argue that for sure sociology of deviance is dead. For example given the report by UNICEF 2007 on lives and children well-being indicated that many mothers were taking care of children who were left unto them after divorce as stated by Stephanie & Thomas (2009). The social problem that arises here is that single parents in most cases do not fully support the children. This is because a part from the parental love, it is also important for the parents to appreciate the fact the childhood starts at conception and social care is required all through as illustrated by Douglas & Waksler (1997).

In the case of the report by Jenkins 1997, on the moral panics that was carried out in the Great Britain and New York revealed that a part from malnutrition that children suffer from, child sex abuse was on the rampant. The study indicated that young children were sexually abused by either their carers or other society offenders. The situation was shocking since many cases were going unnoticed leading to psychological suffering. According NSPCC Report 2001, child offenders was mainly by the strangers as well as the predators. However, many children about 95% of those abused indicated that the offenders were known to them. The most common abusers included the teachers, aunts, family friends, uncles and even brothers as well as sisters. The question that was raised by the parents and the guardians is, “what is the role of sociology of deviance in our society?” The report gave some serious revelations to the state and actually the effectiveness of sociology in handling and eliminating social crimes (Simon & Alfred, 1995).

Given that sociology of deviance has not been able to tackle problems related to cultural issues, there is need to develop systems that can empower every individual in the society in order to be able to protect themselves from any kind of mistreatment and abuse more the vulnerable sets that include the children the elderly and the disabled. Use of different approaches such as educating the society on their individual rights is one way that can be used to scare the offenders given the kind of punishment that are likely to face. Even though there are several avenues to tackle social criminology, the society is not full satisfied on the appropriateness given that most cases do take a lot of time for justice to be done as stated by John (1998). The sociology of deviance does not offer the possible ways to apply incase a social crime has been done. However, the society’s measures can play a major role in dealing with social crimes. For example the parents and families at large can by starting campaigns that will expose the offenders within society and taking them forward for prosecutions and judgment in the court of law. Families can also collaborate with the government officers in providing information that could lead to arrests. However, the challenge with this society related security measures have been turned to vigilant groups that administer direct punishment for the suspects even before the court has not gathered enough evidence according to Stephanie and Thomas (2009).


Sociology of deviance as described earlier is the study is aimed to educate the society on the importance of observing social norms that are intended to promote justice and protection of individual rights. They are actually social laws that are applicable in any given society. Any single deviation from the norm automatically amounts to social crime. However, important sociology is, its goals have not been achieved given that different people in the society do not fully understand the underlying benefits that are related to societal cultural practices. Given the reports that were done on the effectiveness of sociology tackling social crimes, indicate that those issues were to be addressed tend to persist as stated by Schur (1991). These crimes included child abuse and sexual molestation, lack of breastfeeding as well lack of proper parental love. It is clear that the issues have not been fully addressed and therefore demanding more to be done in order to clean the society. To ensure that sociology of deviance is a success, there is need to have to link the social and cultural norms with the relevant state laws. The evidences therefore suggest that more has to be done in order to streamline the society by ensuring individual rights have been respected and that all offenders are judged accordingly. The state law can play a major role in curbing any social crime of any kind regardless of how it happens and who does it as illustrated by Clinard & Meier (1998).


Clinard, M & Meier, F 1998, Sociology of deviant behavior, New York, McGraw-Hill.

Simon, D & Alfred, C 1995, Deviance: studies in definition, management, and treatment‎,London, Tavistock.

Douglas, D & Waksler, C 1997, The sociology of deviance: an introduction, Boston, Little, Brown.

Donal, E & Andrew, K 1993, DEVIANTS: Victims or Victimizers? Beverly Hills, California, Sage.

Doug, T 2004, Crime and deviance‎, New York, The Free Press

Stark, R 2007 Sociology:
Biological Theories of Deviance, Belmont, CA, Thomson Wadsworth.

Stephanie, E & Thomas, A 2009, Predicting workplace deviance using broad versus narrow personality variables, New York, McGraw-Hill.

John, S 1998, One South: An Ethnic Approach to Regional Culture, Boston, Little, Brown

Schur, E 1991, Labeling Deviant Behavior. New York, Harper

Wilkins, L 1995, Social Deviance. London, Tavistock.