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Deviant Behavior

What is deviant behavior? Who defines what is deviant behavior? Why do people engage in deviant behavior? Deviant behavior refers to activities that are disapproved of by society, and which have legal consequences. While deviance has sociological and psychological implications, considerable effort has been put into research and theory of deviant behavior in crime.

A group sociologists explain deviant behavior in terms of broad social conditions in which deviance is most likely to grow, looking at the social structure and characteristics of society and sociology of groups within society (Robert King Merton, Cloward and Ohlin). Soms sociologists explain deviant behavior using the nature and characteristics of individuals.. Some sociologists stress the importance of labeling or stigma.

Deviant behavior includes criminal violation of formally-enacted laws or informal social norms. Deviance refers to violations of social norms. Deviance in this view is that which we react to, through social control responses, as deviant behavior. Deviant behavior is difficult to study because most people are reluctant to be honest about their “deviant” activities because of the social sanctions associated with them. Interpersonal reactions to deviance may have a significant effect of increasing the likelihood of subsequent deviant behavior. Formal and informal controls constrain most people to conform to social norms. Then, why do some people engage in such deviant behavior even if social punishment is expected?

Primary Deviance is an initial deviant act.  Deviant behaviors that are short-term or cease with adult status.

Secondary Deviance is deviance that results from being labeled as deviant. Deviant behaviors are long-term and does not cease with adult status.

The functionalist perspective in deviance and social control is best represented by David Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons. According to Durkheim, the positive consequences of deviance and social control include increased solidarity.

According to Durkheim and the Functionalists there are Positive Consequences of deviant behavior and social control.

How does homophobia in women’s sports maintain the line between gender-specific normal and deviant behaviors? What does this have to do with patriarchy?

Social Construction Of Deviant Behavior

Moral entrepreneurs are those who construct deviant behavior. They claim that a social phenomenon is a problem serious enough to warrant immediate attention and decisive action. 

Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance
Erich Goode, ‎Nachman Ben-Yehuda - 2010.
Packed with new examples and material, this second edition providesa fully up-to-date exploration of the genesis, dynamics, and demiseof moral panics and their impacts on the societies in which they take place.

Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction
Book by Patricia A. Adler, Peter Adler.

Deviant Behavior Abstracts

A Deductive Theory of Deviance
Chris Bader, Department of Sociology, Univ. of Washington
Stark and Bainbridge begin with specifically stated assumptions based upon social exchange theory generate propositions that explain how the exchange of rewards and differentials in power lead to patterns of interaction. I derive propositions to explain the emergence of society, culture, norms, and stratification. The resulting integrated theory utilizes concepts from conflict perspectives, labeling theory, differential association, social control, routine activities theory, and anomie theory.

Deviant Behavior and Victimization Among Homeless and Runaway Adolescents 
LES B. WHITBECK, DAN R. HOYT, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
KEVIN A. YODER, Iowa State University 
ANA MARI CAUCE, MATT PARADISE, University of Washington 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 16, No. 11, 1175-1204 (2001)
High-risk population of runaway and homeless adolescents is used to investigate the effects of a history of caretaker abuse. The results are interpreted in terms of life course developmental theory and lifestyle exposure theory.

Synergies in Deviance: Revisiting the Positive Deviance Debate
Brad West, Flinders University, Australia, Electronic Journal of Sociology (2003) ISSN: 1198 3655
Abstract: The debate surrounding the concept of positive deviance. That the term positive deviance is strategic for understanding the narrative and sacred dimensions of deviant social phenomena.

Adolescent Social Bond, Self-Control and Deviant Behavior in China - Gabe T. Wang, Hengrui Qiao, Shaowai Hong, and Jie Zhang - Yunnan Social Science Academy, Kunming, China - Abstract: Based on Travis Warner Hirschi's social control theory and the theory of self-control developed by Gottfredson and Hirschi, this research developed a structural equation model and tested it on 527 adolescents in Southern China. The findings of this research seem to support Travis Warner Hirschi's social control theory. Gottfredson and Hirschi's newer theory of self-control fails to predict for the Chinese adolescents.

Subculture and Deviant Behavior in the Organizational Context
PUB YEAR: 1998 - JOURNAL: Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 1998.
ABSTRACT: The theory is based on the notion that both motivation and opportunity must come together to produce deviant behavior.

Discipline and Deviant Behavior in Our Youth - Ron Bell
The number of young people involved in deviant behavior has not only tripled and the age has gotten lower. Trouble in the American family has also led to trouble with today's youth. Juvenile crime is increasing in the nation.The objective was to determine how adolescent social bond and self-control affect substance use and deviant behavior.

Routine Activities in Social Context: A Closer Look at the role of Opportunities in Deviant Behavior - Jon Gunnar Bernburg, University at Albany
ABSTRACT: I argue that routine activities cannot simply be understood as neutral patternings of structural changes. As hypothesized, the effects of routine actitivites on types of deviant behavior are considerably reduced when differential social relations are controlled.

AUTHORS: Ron D Hays & Phyllis L Ellickson - Early antisocial behavior, impaired family relationships, delinquent or drug-using peers are some common reasons for drug use and delinquency.

Adolescent Deviant Behavior: Who Is Influencing Our Youth?
Leila Saliba - Elon University
Abstract - Adolescent deviant behavior and the environment that the child lives affects the choices they make. Social pressures affect adolescents the most.

An Economic Theory of Deviance - Jeong-Yoo Kim, Gang Lee
Abstract: Model of deviance by incorporating the labeling effect into rational choice theory. We provide an explanation of the process through which a deviant is being stigmatized.

Early Deviance and Related Risk Factors in the Children of Narcotic Addicts
David N. Nurco, D.S.W., Robert Blatchley, Thomas E. Hanlon, Kevin E. O’Grady
Abstract: This study examines the self-reported behaviors of 285 male and female adolescent children. Findings of the study revealed that early deviance in the children of addicts was related to later adolescent drug use.

Adolescent Children of Narcotic Addicts: Deviant Behaviors and Their Correlates. - David N. Nurco, D.S.W.

A Brief Definition of Deviance. What are deviant behavior and social control? Erich Goode begins by debunking what he considers false conceptions of deviance. Erich Goode's "Five Misleading Definitions of Deviance" correspond to the misconceptions of many laypersons and several scholars as well.

Deviant Identity as a Moderator of the Relation between Negative Self-Feelings and Deviant Behavior 
Howard B. Kaplan, Cheng-Hsien Lin, Texas A&M University 
The Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 20, No. 2, 150-177 (2000)
As hypothesized, for youths without a deviant identity, negative self-feelings had both direct and indirect positive effects on later deviant behavior.

Self-Perceptions of Friendship-Making Ability and Perceptions of Friends’ Deviant Behavior: Childhood to Adolescence - Carolyn McNamara Barry, University of Maryland 
Allan Wigfield, University of Maryland - The Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 22, No. 2, 143-172 (2002).

The Implications of Respondent Loss in Panel Studies of Deviant Behavior 
Sheila Cordray, Department of Sociology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 
Kenneth Polk, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 20, No. 2, 214-242 (1983).

The Conception of Criminality Illustrated by a Stochastic Process Model for Deviant Behavior.
Eggert Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Health Research Institute, Copenhagen 
Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 9, No. 1, 31-45 (1972).

Adolescent Sexual Activity and Mildly Deviant Behavior 
Sibling and Friendship Effects 
JOSEPH LEE RODGERS, University of Oklahoma 
DAVID C. ROWE, University of Arizona 
Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 11, No. 3, 274-293 (1990).

Nonparametric Analysis of Adolescent Deviant Behavior 
YUNLING DU, Columbia University, MICHAEL G. AKRITAS, STEVEN F. ARNOLD, D. WAYNE OSGOOD, Pennsylvania State University 
Sociological Methods & Research, Vol. 30, No. 3, 309-340 (2002).

The Morality of Employee Theft: Teaching about Ethics and Deviant Behavior in the Workplace 
Roland E. Kidwell, Jr., Susan M. Kochanowski, Niagara University.
Journal of Management Education, Vol. 29, No. 1, 135-152 (2005) - Because of cost to both organizations and people, deviant behavior at work is an important topic for management education.

The Influence of Adolescent Substance Use and Socialization on Deviant Behavior in Young Adulthood - SYBILLE M. GUY, P. M. BENTLER, University of California, Los Angeles. GENE M. SMITH, Harvard University School of Medicine. Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 21, No. 2, 236-255 (1994).

Geneticization of Deviant Behavior and Consequences for Stigma: The Case of Mental Illness 
Phelan, Jo C. - Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Volume 46, Number 4, December 2005.
Abstract: According to "genetic essentialist" thinking, genes are the basis of human identity and strongly deterministic of behavior.

Medicalization in Nepal: A Study of the Influence of Westernization on Defining Deviant and Illness Behavior in a Developing Country 
L. Allen Furr, Department of Sociology, 125 Lutz Hall, University of Louisville
International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Vol. 45, No. 1-2, 131-142 (2004).

Deviant Behavior Books

Deviant Behavior and Human Rights. by John F. Galliher (Editor).

Deviant Behavior (11th Edition) - Kindle eBook - Alex D Thio, Jim D Taylor and Martin D Schwartz (Sep 18, 2012).

Deviance and Social Control: A Sociological Perspective - Kindle eBook - Michelle Inderbitzin, Kristin A Bates and Randy R Gainey (2012).

Degrees of Deviance: Student Accounts of Their Deviant Behavior
Book by Stuart Henry, Roger Eaton (Editors).

Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior. by Clifton D. Bryant (Editor).

Readings in Deviant Behavior: Classic and Contemporary
Book by Nathaniel Eugene Terrell, Robert F. Meier, Robert Meier.

Social Control & Socialization: The Role Of Morality As A Social Mechanism In Adolescent Deviant Behavior (Stockholm Studies in Sociology) Book by Robert Svensson.

Sociology of Deviant Behavior - by Marshall B. Clinard, Robert F. Meier.

Deviant Knowledge: Criminology, Politics and Policy - Book by Reece Walters

The Deviant Mystique : Involvements, Realities, and Regulation
Book by Robert Prus, Scott Grills.