Explaining Deviance and Crime

As it is known, there are lots of definitions for such terms like deviance and crime. Moreover, there are also a lot of theories concerning such a controversial issue as the ways of appearing these social phenomena. Both terms are examined by many scientists through the prism of different sciences’ comprehension. Surely, sociologists are not an exception. They have provided a range of theories that explain the existence of deviance and crime through different perspectives, for instance, the functionalist theory, the conflict one, the feminist theory and the symbolic interactionist one. Symbolic interactionist theory of deviance appears to be one of the most interesting sociology perspectives concerning this issue.

Interactionists claim that people learn deviant behavior from others who are important in their lives. In fact, it is rather hard not to agree with such a statement. Some scientists think that deviance is an inherent feature of a person’s character (Henry, 2009). However, everyone knows that human psychology forms from the very childhood (Baumeister & Bushman, 2013), and children tend to look up to elder people, whom they concern to be great in their own perception of this word. Every child chooses someone as their idols. They watch various cartoons and movies, have elder siblings and friends. Furthermore, it is known that parents are the best example for their children. Even though there is an evident generation gap, children often copy the behavior of their parents because a mother and a father are people whom a child sees and communicates with most often. Of course, an extremely significant role is played by cartoon and movie characters. Watching modern films or cartoons, children often see some bad guys who have a great amount of money, the best cars, enormous houses with pools, and lots of fun. Since many people do not understand life properly in their childhood, they believe that everything they see on the screens is extremely cool. They do not think of possible consequences at all. In fact, everything that they want in such an age is living a beautiful careless life. As a consequence, such an admiration leads to a deviant behavior. Many children and teenagers start counterfeiting their favorite characters. At more length, they try to copy the behavior and communication of those bad guys in order to reach that amazing, as they think, lifestyle rate. Besides, there is also a theory that people learn deviant behavior from those, with whom they are in a close relationship (Franzese, 2009). In fact, it is the reason why parents worry about the circle of contacts of their children.

However, not all children and teenagers follow bad examples, which they see on screens since there are also a lot of characters who possess good qualities. Therefore, it is upon a child whose example he or she wants to follow. The choice, indeed, depends on the upbringing and the values that were cultivated in a child by the parents. Surely, some children admire those characters that are pure, innocent and kind. Consequently, they want to be like them; therefore, they act like their heroes, communicate like them and sometimes even try to bare resemblance in the appearance.

Taking all the above mentioned information into consideration, one can see that there are several utmost factors, which have a great impact on the formation of a person’s behavior, whether it is deviant or not. Parents, celebrities, mass media and the circle of contacts influence a person’s behavior greatly. To sum up, society is one the most significant factors that play an utmost role in the formation of people’s values and their way of living.


  1. Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2013). Social psychology and human nature. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
  2. Henry, S. (2009). Social deviance. Cambridge; Malden, MA: Polity.
  3. Franzese, R. J. (2009). The sociology of deviance: Differences, tradition, and stigma. Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publisher, LTD.
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