Deviance (sociology)  

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 This page Deviance (sociology) is part of the non-mainstream series Illustration: True portrait of Monsieur Ubu by Alfred Jarry
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This page Deviance (sociology) is part of the non-mainstream series
Illustration: True portrait of Monsieur Ubu by Alfred Jarry

"Thus the norm has a history much like that of an article of common law: it is an accumulation of decisions made by the community over a long period of time which gradually gathers enough moral influence to serve as a precedent for future decisions." --"Notes on the Sociology of Deviance" (1962) by Kai T. Erikson


Related: aberrant - abnormal - deviant modernism - difference - non-mainstream - radical - transgression - unusual

Contrast: normal

 This page Deviance (sociology) is part of psychopathology series. Illustration: the head of Elagabalus, one of the five "mad emperors" of ancient Rome
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This page Deviance (sociology) is part of psychopathology series.
Illustration: the head of Elagabalus, one of the five "mad emperors" of ancient Rome

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In sociology, deviance describes an action or behavior that violates social norms, including a formally enacted rule (e.g., crime), as well as informal violations of social norms (e.g., rejecting folkways and mores). Although deviance may have a negative connotation, the violation of social norms is not always a negative action; positive deviation exists in some situations. Although a norm is violated, a behavior can still be classified as positive or acceptable.

Social norms differ from culture to culture. For example, a deviant act can be committed in one society but may be normal for another society.

Deviance is relative to the place where it was committed or to the time the act took place. Killing another human is generally considered wrong for example, except when governments permit it during warfare or for self defense. There are two types of major deviant actions, mala in se or mala prohibits types.

Deviance in literature

Many works of literature offer allegories illustrating the conflict between character and society, in which the character does not conform to the society's norms and is subsequently alienated, ostracized, socially sanctioned, discriminated against or persecuted.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Deviance (sociology)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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