Plenty of people can do things that are considered rude or unacceptable by other people. An example of an action that can be considered rude is the resting of chopsticks horizontally on the mouth of the bowl in east Asian countries. In those countries, it is considered impolite if isn’t done in the appropriate context, which will be labeled as a deviant action.
Deviance is the state of an action or behavior that is socially or culturally away from the set norms and standards of the specific area. These deviations are usually social or sexual. Most of the time people will commit deviant actions, as deviant actions are not measured in severity instead, deviant actions are measured against the norms brought about by society.
There are two ways the act of social deviance can be described. Sociologist Edwin Lemert posited primary deviance and secondary deviance as a way to try and describe deviant actions. Primary deviance is the first act of deviation from a social norm in a given situation, this could be the first time a student skipped school or the first time a person stole something. People who have performed a deviant action will be unlabeled unless they are caught by their peers, guardians, or parents, often primary deviance occurs from time to time with little to no social and/or physical consequences. The secondary deviation is the labeling of an individual who has done a deviant action that has incurred heavy social and/or physical consequences to the individual doing the deviant action.
Begin by checking if the person is exhibiting behavior that will lead to deviant actions. The behavior should be one that will break or move away from the social norm of the environment around them. These behaviors could manifest as drinking too much alcohol, consuming drugs, truancy, or more of the like.
Behaviors are very complex as most of these are caused by a mixed reaction from both the individual’s environment and characteristics. As such you must check if the behavior or action of the individual is deviant, and not the cause of specific circumstances like starvation or survival.
After identifying the behavior or action as a deviant, you will need to check whether the deviation will cause the person major consequences both socially and physically. If it doesn’t then the deviant behavior and action is primary deviance, which will still need to be rectified but it is not a major cause of concern.
If you have identified the behavior as a secondary deviation then you will need to report it to the authorities. A secondary deviant action usually causes great harm and damage to the person doing the action and the people around them.
Sexual deviance is a type of deviation that concerns itself with a specific individual’s sexual gratification by doing actions outside of the cultural norm. Though it might inherently seem outright damaging, some sexual deviances do not cause harm or have plenty of consent involving both parties. But do note most sexual deviances like necrophilia, pedophilia, voyeurism, and others of the like are considered crimes and should be avoided.
Cultural deviance theory is a theory posited by Walter Miller on 1958. This theory indicates that deviations like crime are caused by the environment, and the circumstances surrounding the deviant. This also indicates that deviance is taught and learned rather than it being a part of the inner characteristics of the deviant.
Deviation and deviance can succinctly describe the reasoning of people who do actions outside of the norm. Some of the deviant actions are not inherently destructive or bad, but most can cause some brush with the law. This makes learning all about deviation and deviance very important as it allows us to understand the context that would lead to such actions, and prevent these actions from occurring in the future.
Deviance is a phenomenon that occurs when people do things that averts the societal norms around them. Though often when we hear the word deviant or deviance we automatically assume that it action is wrong, there will be situations where deviance is required. The right utilization of deviance can prevent an echo chamber from occurring, and even stop radical thinking and actions from appearing in our society.