Why Sociologists Argue That Deviance Is Inevitable – Essay Example

Tags: Deviance
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The paper “ Why Sociologists Argue That Deviance Is Inevitable“ is a   persuasive variant of essay on sociology. In sociology, deviance refers to actions or behaviors that go against the set social norms, for example, violation of enacted regulations or violating informal social norms. Zemboski (2011) also defines deviance as a contravention of the cultural norms. Therefore, deviance is departing from the expected norms and in sociology, deviance is inclined towards the positive or negative. For instance, whereas there are crimes that are definitely deviant since they are outside from the norm, for example killing or rape, there are also offenses that are not deviant.

On the other hand, over speeding for a sociological perspective in most cases is not considered deviant. On the other hand, norms refer to rules that normally guide societal members and hence deviance is the absence of conformity to the societal norms (Franzese, 2015). Social norms vary from one culture to another. For example, there are some acts that are deviant within one society because they contravene the societal norm, but the same acts might be normal in a different society.

Accordingly, this essay seeks to argue that deviance is inventible and will provide various perspectives and arguments to support the position. According to Durkheim's theory, Bala & Daniel (2015) deviance is an ordinary and essential element if any society since deviance plays a fundamental role in the social order. This is because deviance is an inevitable component of societal functioning. Bala & Daniel (2015) argue that deviance, for example, is the foundation of change and innovation and defines or clarifies vital social norms and hence there are many reasons for deviance differs.

For instance, social instability where there are no clear social norms may result in deviant behavior and therefore people may test the rules occasionally in order to understand the societal norms and values. Testing the rules means deviating from the norms and hence a person gets to understand the expected societal norms afterward. For example, informal social processes like disapproval from friends or family members are a means of regulating inappropriate behaviors within society. In this case, when a person is disapproved by friends or family for deviating from the norm, such an individual is likely to change and conform to the expected social norms and values (Franzese, 2015).

Therefore, this emphasizes the argument that deviance is inevitable because it serves many purposes within the society and this includes helping society members who do not clearly understand the expected norms to rectify their behaviors as per the set norms. Deviance is also inevitable because it affirms societal norms and values (Harris, 2015). For instance, when people see an individual being punished for a deviant action, it affirms what the society perceives as suitable or unacceptable behavior.

An example is when a murderer is imprisoned and this affirms societal values that killing is wrong. This clearly illustrates that deviances are important in helping society to affirm and define own norms and values. According to Harris (2015), deviance clarifies right and wrong. This is because responses to deviant acts assist people in distinguishing between right and wrong. For example, when a student copies an assignment and the student gets a zero mark for the assignment, the entire class leans that copying an example is wrong and unacceptable.


Becker H, 1963, The Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, New York: Free Press.

< http://leeclarke.com/courses/intro/readings/becker_definingdeviance.pdf>

Bala N & Daniel, H, 2015, A Conceptual Overview of Deviance and Its Implication to Mental Health: a Biopsychosocial Perspective, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 2(12), pp:1-9.

Franzese R, 2015, The Sociology of Deviance: 2nd Ed, London: Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Featherstone, R., & Deflem, M, 2003, Anomie and strain: Context and consequences of Merton’s two theories. Sociological Inquiry, 73(4), pp:471–489.

Harris S, 2015, Critiquing and Expanding the Sociology of Inequality: Comparing Functionalist, Conflict, and Interactionist Perspectives, Lindell Blvd: Saint Louis University.

Macionis & & Gerber L, 2010, Sociology "Emile Durkheim"s Basic Insight, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Zemboski D, 2011, Sociological Theories of Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 1(21), pp: 240–254.

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