Deviance

Deviance is defined as any form of violation of the established rules and norms.  From the perspective of a sociologist, deviance is relative, and its definitions vary across societies and from one group to the other. Deviance can be interpreted as an act that makes something deviant. For example, during the brutal killings of the Indians, there were instances of revenge by the Indians whenever the American soldiers killed innocent Indians, and this is what resulted in violence. The reaction to something can be a deviant. From the documentary, it is evident that violence can be learned and when it is learned it becomes part of the culture. The Americans are used to the tradition of war, and the citizens were often victims of violence even without doing anything related to an incidence of crime.

It is evident that in particular cases someone doesn’t have to be labeled deviant, but they are falsely accused because of birth and race. The African Americans were charged with crimes and prosecuted without being allowed to defend themselves. These people could be innocent, but since they were black, they were not allowed to protect themselves. The case with the whites was different after the violent wars with the Indians. Several people who participated in the battle were allowed to carry their guns home, and in the process, they became perpetrators of significant violence.

The unscrupulous white’s generation was labeled as heroes just because they could hold guns and kill people. Therefore crime is relative when interpreting the deviance of the actor. Human beings live by norms and when the norms become more predictable norms defines a social life. Human beings can develop a culture of social control which sometimes can be informal like in the case of the whites who were associated with significant crimes. Functionalists believe that deviance is functional to the society since it results in social order by establishing moral boundaries encouraging social unity. According to “strain theory” people can experience strain which can ultimately oblige them to participate in deviant or criminal behavior. For example, since the Africa Americans were continuously suffering in the hands of the whites, they responded by engaging in drug trafficking and killing people.

 

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