Thursday, March 17, 2011

Deviance


By: Jennifer Harding

 In sociology, deviance is known as behavior that violates expected rules and social norms. Without social norms and social control, there would be nothing for us to defy. Everyone is deviant at one point or another in their lives, whether it be positive or negative, most of us have broken a social norm or a rule before.
 Over time, the rules and norms of a society often change. Something that may have been considered okay or accepted once before, may be looked down upon or seen as deviant behavior now. For example, cigarette smoking. In 1965 more than 50% of men and more then 30% of women in the US smoked cigarettes. Cigarettes were seen on TV ads, magazines and in newspapers and it was okay to smoke pretty much anywhere (hospitals, schools, restaurants). If you were around in the late 50's/ early 60's and smoked, you were seen as a sophisticated person. or someone with class. 

 By the late 60's/early 70's, people became more aware of the dangerous risks of cigarette smoking. Since then, the amount of American adults who smoke has continued to decline, now at about 20% of American men and women.
 Smoking has been banned in schools, hospitals and most public places across the country and is frowned upon in today's society. Society uses both informal and formal social control when it comes to smoking cigarettes. If a person was to smoke in a restaurant, they may be given dirty looks, stares, or even yelled at by random people (informal social control). But more importantly they would be told to get rid of the cigarette and failure to follow the rules could lead in being escorted off of the premises and/or being fined (formal social control). 

 This type of deviance was once seen as something positive and was a social norm before and has become an act of deviance over time. There are plenty of other examples of this, and even things that used to be considered an act of deviance and is now thought of as normal. As long as a society is changing, growing, learning, or falling apart, deviance will change right along with it. Lets just hope that more people will be a positive deviant to society rather than a negative one.

13 comments:

  1. Sa'ood Abdul-BasitMarch 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Interesting post on Deviance. Smoking was a very good choice of topic in my opinion because I never really knew about how our society's view of it changed so much!

    Thanks for posting.

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  2. Great Topic, good job on the resesrch and statistics. I never knew society once viewed people whom smoke sophisticated

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  3. This is actully interesting. I never knew that in the late 60's and early 70's smoking was viewed as sophisticated and depicted class. I find this weird since cigarettes were out way before that time. It made me sit back and think why people didn't know the harmful affects of cigarettes before the late 60's and early 70's. This post exhibits how much society's opinion really matters. Post well done.

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  4. I find this post very interesting and true for the simple fact that some older people like my grandparents think tattoos is deviant. But i think its a way to express your stuff so to them im breaking a social norm by having one or getting another one . I also think everybody has there opinion also , but i loved the post and i learned something new.

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  5. this post is very interesting because it seems that our society has labeled acts of deviance, as breaking some type of social norm. however who creates these social norms, many times people view different as defiant. as a society we have to learn that sometimes being defiant to certain rules, regulations, and even social norms, can lead to social and cultural advances.

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  6. Lynzee Coble said...

    My thoughts were right along with Stephanie's. I read this and thought "I wonder when tattoos will become as acceptable as smoking was then". I like that social norms are always in flux, especially because of some people's defiant nature. Shows that together, we really can change the world, even if it's just by making smoking less acceptable.

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  7. A very nice post. If I wasn't in this sociology class i would understand everything you talked about and posted.I also liked how you chose smoking as your main focus on this topic and who even came up with these social norms anyway. Thanks for the post.

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  8. Brittanie DeShieldsMarch 21, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    I completely agree with this post. I never knew that smoking was considered "sophisitcated". When I was younger I remember seeing plenty of people smoking ciggarets and it was always people I looked up too. I would always ask them to let me try but they always said no. Now that i am older im very much glad they said no because i probably would be smoking them now. This was a very nice post because society has been and always will be defiant because laws and norms are changing quickly.

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  9. Quiessence RoysterMarch 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Good post!When I think of smoking I think of it as something very normal. I never thought of it as deviant behavior being as though so many people do it all the time. However, after reading your blog I now understand why it's considered as one. Thinking about all the new bands and the problems it evokes on people that do not smoke make me want to raise awareness on how this action is said to be deviant.

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  10. Jennifer, this post is very interesting. I would have never imagined that cigarettes were ever accepted and looked as “sophisticated” I always thought cigarettes were nasty and a waste of money. I guess this explains why in all the old movies, you see the women of high class smoking. Also this post did a very good job on demonstrating who deviance is always changing along with us and our norms. Once again great job!

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  11. I must agree with the previous comments. This post is very informative and easy to understand. In addition it presents a great example of how social deviance changes over time. It really got me thinking about society today, what we consider normal and how different social norms were 40 plus years ago. With society changing at a steady pace I cant help but to try and imagine what the future holds. I really began to wonder how much deviant behavior and non-deviant behavior will alter over the next few years.

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  12. Very interesting post Jennifer. After reading your post it made me realize what smoking have to do with deviance. I agree with everyone that commented your post that you gave a great example with the information you provided. I'm surprise that the awareness of smoking didn't really exist until late 1960's/early 1970's knowing the fact that tobacco smoking existed centuries ago. Good Job!

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  13. Great post! Very intriguing, and true. There are many different subject topics that may have been written about in this post about deviance and you brought a fantastic issue. This change in social norm has been brought to my attention before, with a class I had on film analysis. In the film "Forrest Gump," at the beginning of the film when Forrest first reluctantly gets on the school bus, the driver is smoking a cigarette. By the end of the film when Forrest's son get on the school bus with the same driver she is no longer smoking a cigarette, but chewing gum, which is something many ex-smokers do to not think about smoking. Fantastic Post!

    A. Sanchez

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