Discussion reply applying deviance and self control

please use this prompt to reply to this students discussion
A brief Introduction (one short paragraph, few sentences)
Identify what you liked, support and what was effective in posting (short paragraph, few sentences).
Ask a clarifying question and why you feel something needs more explanation (short paragraph, few sentences).
Make a suggestion on how to strengthen one thing in the posting (short paragraph, few sentences).
Conclusion wrapping up your reply (short paragraph, few sentences)

Deviance is the act of violating social norms through committing actions that can range from weird and odd to unlawful and immoral. While committing deviant acts is usually considered to have a negative connotation to it, stepping away from the norm can lead to changes in society. Rebellions have led to reforms in governments and unconventional behavior from individuals have shifted the way our views of people with different beliefs.

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With the interest of wanting to understand how people develop deviant behaviors, sociologist Edwin Sutherland came up with the differential association theory. This theory suggests that deviant behaviors are learned through the behavior of the people we surround ourselves with. For example, a child can learn to not fight with other children at a playground through seeing the negative reactions of their teachers or other school faculty. A child can also grow up to become abusive towards their significant other through witnessing it in their own household and viewing toxic relationships as normal. Sutherland’s theory claims that deviant behavior isn’t innate but instead acquired through social contact.

In 1969, Travis Hirschi introduced the control theory which stated that social control is strengthened through social agreement and deviance comes from individuals feeling disconnected from society by not sharing the same beliefs with what is considered normal. Hirschi gave four types of social bonds that keep people connected to society. Attachment is the links we have with other people in society, for example a family to come home to or not having a group of friends at school. Commitment is how we invest ourselves in society, most commonly working under capitalism or choosing to make money through illegal means. Involvement is how we participate in society like serving jury duty or refusing to vote during elections. The final type, belief, is the common values that a society shares which can be seen in the debate about whether or not the death penalty should be banned.

According to the labeling theory, what is considered to be labeled as deviant behaviors is determined by the responses of the people in a society. Sociologist Edwin Lemert found two types of deviances that have an affect on an individual’s identity. Primary deviance is the violation of a norm or rule that doesn’t have a long-term impact that labels an individual as deviant, an example of this is a child getting in trouble for stealing a bar of chocolate from the store. While this action is deviant in itself, the child wouldn’t be labeled as “deviant” for this one incident. The second type of deviance is secondary deviance where a person’s actions affect their identity and how they’re labeled by society. If a person gets caught for cheating on their spouse, they would be described as a “cheater” by other people.

In this unit I learned that deviance isn’t always a bad thing. I agreed with Émile Durkheim’s view that deviance is necessary for society to challenge their own views to change their traditional ideas of what is normal. Deviance prevents society from being static and allows it to stay constantly evolving. It also plays a big part in establishing our social norms for us to act appropriately in the different environments we put ourselves in.

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