Deviant behavior is defined as actions that go against social norms, which can include informal social rules and more formal social expectations and laws. Socially acceptable behavior, on the other hand, refers to actions that are generally considered appropriate in the presence of other people.
This article looks at the causes of deviant behavior and how it differs from socially acceptable behavior. It also covers different types of deviant behavior and how some behaviors, such as B. Addiction, can go from socially acceptable to deviant behavior.
Causes of deviant behavior
There are a variety of theories that explain why people behave differently, including psychological, biological, and sociological explanations.
In reality, there are likely many factors at play in deviant behavior. These include genetics, personality, upbringing, environment and social influences.
It is also important to note that what is considered deviant can vary from culture to culture. Other factors, including gender and socioeconomic status, also influence the informal, unwritten social rules and expectations people are expected to have.
Psychological theories of deviant behavior stem from a variety ofperspectives. Lospsychoanalytic approachcould indicate, for example, that all humans have suppressed unconscious impulses that lead to social deviance.
Learning theories, on the other hand, might suggest that these behaviors are learnedsee othersengage in deviant behavior. In the context of drug use, this suggests that people start using drugs or abusing alcohol because they have witnessed the use of drugs by others. Research suggests that social influences may play a role in initiating substance use and addiction.
Biological explanations for deviant behavior suggest that genetic influences play an important role in deviant behavior. For example, when it comes to addiction, research has found that genes play an important role in the development of drug problems.
Research suggests that 40-60% of the risk of developing an addiction is genetic.
Genetics also affect temperament and personality in general. These traits and traits can affect a person's likelihood of engaging in deviant behavior.
One sociological explanation is Merton's theory of tension, which suggests that there is a tension between a society's goals and the means available to people to achieve those goals. As a result, people often resort to deviant behavior (eg, stealing or selling drugs) to achieve socially acceptable social ideals (eg, wealth).
Deviating behavior can have many causes. Genetic, psychological, and sociological factors can influence different types of social deviance.
Addiction and deviant behavior
Seeks—from alcohol to gambling to sex—may involve socially acceptable behavior or socially deviant behavior. Having a drink or two after work is a socially acceptable form of alcohol consumption; getting drunk and then trying to drive home is considered deviant behavior.
Deviance is a sociological concept that refers to behaviors that go against social rules and norms. People with substance use disorders are often described as socially deviant because they do not meet society's expectations of what is considered acceptable behavior.
Behavior perceived as socially deviant is highstigmatized, which often causes as many or more problems for the person involved in the behavior as the addiction itself, if an addiction exists at all.
There is a large gray area between socially deviant behavior and socially acceptable or "sanctioned" behavior. Certain subcultures also develop around different substances, including prescribed behaviors and social sanctions that make people who use these substances feel like part of the group.
The impact of alcoholism on society
The continuum of social acceptance
There is a range of behaviors, from the socially acceptable to the deviant, that are influenced by formal and informal social norms. Examples of behaviors that are generally considered socially unacceptable include:pick your nose, being too close to other people or not bathing regularly. Examples of deviant behavior include drug use, theft, murder, excessive drinking, and aggression.
To understand the continuum from social acceptance to social deviance, it can be helpful to look at specific examples such as substance use. The table below shows some examples of common addictive behaviors, illustrating the continuum from socially deviant to socially problematic to socially acceptable behavior in major western cultures.
|socially deviant||socially problematic||socially acceptable|
|alcoholism||Excessive alcohol consumption||Drink occasionally/socially|
|Alcohol consumption among minors||public drunkenness||Drinking in "spirits"|
|Drinking at the wrong time/in the wrong place|
|illegal drug use||Excessive use of painkillers||Appropriate use of analgesics|
|to smoke cigarettes|
|excessive betting||Lose big money on a gambling frenzy||Bingo, lotteries, trips to Las Vegas|
|sexual abuse||promiscuity||sex within a relationship|
|exploitative sex||sex work|
These are not meant to be rigid categorizations, just examples of how behaviors are perceived, such as illegal activities such asalcohol consumptionare classified as "deviant", when in reality this is widespread and often accepted by young people and adults.
Some behaviors have changed in recent decades, for exampleto smoke cigaretteshe is socially problematic but not yet socially deviant, whereas 30 years ago he was socially acceptable.
As mentioned above, many addictive behaviors are considered acceptable and even encouraged by society at large. Alcohol is arguably one of the most harmful drugs to consume, but its use by adults is accepted and encouraged at all levels of society, including the upper class.
Also, you can really set yourself apartno drink alcoholin some social situations where it is expected.
types of deviant behavior
Deviant behavior can include both informal and formal deviations from social norms. Informal types of deviance are things that are considered socially unacceptable and inappropriate. Formal types of deviant behavior are those that violate laws, regulations, and other codified rules.
Examples of informal deviant behavior
Such deviant behaviors are usually considered socially unacceptable but do not violate the law. Examples of informal distraction include:
- Gossip about people behind their backs
- being late for work
- Borrow media and don't return them
- Telling inappropriate jokes at work.
- lie to others
- Chew with your mouth open
- swearing in public
- looks inappropriate
Examples of formally deviating behavior
These behaviors are generally classified as criminal acts and are punishable by law. Some of these behaviors can be considered less serious, while others are considered the most deviant forms of human behavior. These behaviors include:
- domestic violence
- rape, sexual harassment and stalking
- theft and theft
- Aggression, violence, intimidation
- Addiction, substance use, DUI and drug dealing
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes deviant behavior?
Deviating behavior usually has no single, recognizable cause. It is often the result of a variety of factors, including genetics, life experiences, the environment in which the individual lives, and societal pressures. Research also suggests that certain personality traits may also play a role in deviant behavior.
What are some examples of socially deviant behavior?
Examples of formal deviant behavior that violate statute laws include rape, murder, domestic violence, theft, assault, assault, arson, vandalism, fraud, drug abuse and animal cruelty. Examples of informal deviant behavior that is often considered socially unacceptable include being late for work, swearing in public, using inappropriate gestures, lying, and gossiping.
How can I stop engaging in deviant behavior?
At the societal level, deviant behavior is often countered by deterrence and punishment. When trying to stop deviant behavior like substance use, it's important to find support. Talking to a psychologist can help you get the support, resources, and tools you need to change your behavior.
Verywell Mind uses only quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to back up the facts in our articles. read ourspublishing processto learn more about how we fact-check our content and keep it accurate, reliable, and dependable.
Strickland JC, Smith MA.The effects of social contact on drug use: behavioral mechanisms that control drug use.Exp Clin Psychopharmaco. 2014;22(1):23-34. doi:10.1037/a0034669
Szalavitz M.Genetics: No more addictive personality.Nature. 2015;522(7557):S48-S49. doi:10.1038/522S48a
Stebbins RA.Tolerable, acceptable and positive deviation.The Routledge Guide to Deviant Behavior. ed. Clifton D. Bryant. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011.
Abdullah A., Marican S.The Impact of Big Five Personality Traits on Deviant Behavior.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences. 2016;219:19-25. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.04.027
ThroughElizabeth Hartney, Bachelor, Master, Master, Promotion
Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a Psychologist, Professor and Director of the Center for Health Research and Leadership at Royal Roads University, Canada.
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What is considered deviant behavior? ›
Adult content consumption, drug use, excessive drinking, illegal hunting, eating disorders, or any self-harming or addictive practice are all examples of deviant behaviors. Many of them are represented, to different extents, on social media.What is an acceptable deviance? ›
The concept of “acceptable deviance” is introduced as a bridge between the ideal types of conformity and deviance. It is argued that as a form of social control it ensures conformity in the guise of individual freedom.What was considered deviant in the past but is acceptable now? ›
Tattoos, vegan lifestyles, single parenthood, breast implants, and even jogging were once considered deviant but are now widely accepted.What are some socially accepted behaviors in your society? ›
Social Norms Regarding Public Behavior
Shake hands when you meet someone. Make direct eye contact with the person you are speaking with. Unless the movie theater is crowded, do not sit right next to someone.
Three broad sociological classes exist that describe deviant behavior, namely, structural functionalism, symbolic interaction and conflict theory.What are the 5 types of deviant behavior? ›
According to Merton, there are five types of deviance based upon these criteria: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. Structural functionalism argues that deviant behavior plays an active, constructive role in society by ultimately helping cohere different populations within a society.What is deviance example? ›
Formal deviance includes criminal violation of formally-enacted laws. Examples of formal deviance include robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault. Informal deviance refers to violations of informal social norms, which are norms that have not been codified into law.What is an example of positive deviant behavior? ›
Here are some examples of positive deviance: Patients with a chronic condition whose lifestyle choices cause them to have a much higher quality of life than other people with the same illness.What causes deviant behavior in society? ›
Deviant behaviour may be caused due to the individual inability or failure to conform to the social norms or the societies failure to make its components follow the norms set by it as normal behaviour. The inability to conform may be the result of a mental or physical defect.How can I be socially acceptable? ›
- Check your motivation.
- Start a convo.
- Practice listening.
- Offer compliments.
- Be a host.
- Pick up the phone.
- Talk to strangers.
Who is considered deviant in our society? ›
Any behavior that breaks the law or goes against societal norms can be considered deviant. One example of deviant behavior is drug use. Using illegal drugs is considered deviant behavior in most social groups. Committing acts of violence, such as assault or murder, is also considered deviant behavior.What is deviance in today's society? ›
Deviance refers to rule-breaking behaviour of some kind which fails to conform to the norms and expectations of a particular society or social group. Deviance is closely related to the concept of crime, which is law breaking behaviour. Criminal behaviour is usually deviant, but not all deviant behaviour is criminal.What is the socially acceptable behaviour? ›
Socially acceptable behavior, on the other hand, refers to the actions that are generally viewed as being appropriate to engage in when in the presence of other people.What are the example of acceptable behavior? ›
Work co-operatively with others in order to achieve objectives. Manage performance in an appropriate and fair manner. Give and receive constructive feedback as part of normal day-to-day work. Such feedback should be evidence-based and delivered in an appropriate manner.
Social status is the respect that an individual enjoys from others. For example, if everyone you meets admires you for your talents, attractiveness, youth, charm, coolness, intelligence or wealth this is a type of social acceptance.What are the examples of deviant behavior in family? ›
Curfew violations, incorrigibility and truancy are examples. Thus, crirne and delinquency and most other foams of social: devi- ance are socially defined behaviors rather than given biomedical conditions.What are two behaviors that are deviant but not criminal? ›
An act can be deviant but not criminal i.e. breaking social, but not legal, rules. Examples, of this include acts that are seen as deviant when they occur in a certain context, such as a male manager wearing a dress to the office or someone talking loudly in the middle of a concert.What are the examples of deviant behavior in school? ›
These are: examination malpractice, truancy, bullying, lateness to school, stealing, drug Abuse, cultism, sex offences and absenteeism.What is an example of deviant identity? ›
Examples of these type of people are pedophiles, murderers and burglars. What all these people have in common is they have a deviant identity. These groups of people have been caught in a deviant act, and through a process have been labeled with a deviant identity (alder 2015.)Why is it called deviance behavior? ›
Deviance is any behavior that violates social norms, and is usually of sufficient severity to warrant disapproval from the majority of society. Deviance can be criminal or non‐criminal. The sociological discipline that deals with crime (behavior that violates laws) is criminology (also known as criminal justice).
Is deviant behavior negative or positive? ›
Deviance may be either positive or negative. Negative deviance involves behavior that fails to meet accepted norms. People expressing negative deviance either reject the norms, misinterpret the norms, or are unaware of the norms. Positive deviance involves overconformity to norms.What is an example of negative deviant behavior? ›
Negative deviant behaviors include employee delinquencies such as not following the manager's instructions, intentionally slowing down the work cycle, arriving late, committing petty theft as well as not treating co‐workers with respect and/or acting rudely with co‐workers (Galperin, 2002).What does it mean to be socially accepted? ›
1. the formal or informal admission of an individual into a group. 2. the absence of social disapproval.What is a word for socially acceptable? ›
Deemed acceptable or appropriate by society. respectful. appropriate. diplomatic. considerate.What things are not socially acceptable? ›
- 1. " Not forgiving people who have purposefully wronged or hurt you, especially family. ...
- 2. " Women having body hair. ...
- 3. " Having STDs. ...
- 4. " Going into stores, looking around, and not buying anything. ...
- 6. " Talking about asexuality. ...
- 7. " ...
- 8. " ...
- 9. "
: someone or something that deviates from a norm. especially : a person who differs markedly (as in social adjustment or behavior) from what is considered normal or acceptable. social/moral/sexual deviants. Those who commit crimes also watch TV, go to the grocery store, and have their hair cut.What is acceptable behavior for students? ›
Be punctual. Respect others' personal space and property. Dress appropriately. Work hard.What is acceptable behaviour from students? ›
Be a good listener. Don't be overly judgmental. Treat each learner as an individual. Form your own opinions and give everyone a fair chance.How do you teach and encourage socially acceptable behavior from your students? ›
- Model Manners. If you expect your students to learn and display good social skills, then you need to lead by example. ...
- Assign Classroom Jobs. Assigning classroom jobs to students provides opportunties to demonstrate responsibility, teamwork and leadership. ...
- Role-Play Social Situations. ...
The importance of social approval
The need for social approval sustains cohesive societies. Individuals who “dance to their own drummer” and care little about what others think of them can remain within the community if they are needed and are willing to fulfill that need.
What does it mean to not be socially accepted? ›
Social exclusion refers to the experience of being socially isolated, either physically (for example, being totally alone), or emotionally (for example, being ignored or told that one is unwanted). When someone excludes you, you probably feel bad or even experience “painful” feelings.What are the factors of social acceptance? ›
There are many factors that influence social acceptance. Among those factors, culture, time, type of interaction and user position in the innovation adoption curve all play an important role. We briefly describe these factors below.What are some examples of deviance? ›
Formal deviance includes criminal violation of formally-enacted laws. Examples of formal deviance include robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault. Informal deviance refers to violations of informal social norms, which are norms that have not been codified into law.What behavior is considered deviant but not criminal? ›
An act can be deviant but not criminal i.e. breaking social, but not legal, rules. Examples, of this include acts that are seen as deviant when they occur in a certain context, such as a male manager wearing a dress to the office or someone talking loudly in the middle of a concert.What crimes are considered deviant? ›
Society sees most crimes, such as robbery, assault, battery, rape, murder, burglary, and embezzlement, as deviant. But some crimes, such as those committed in violation of laws against selling merchandise on Sundays, are not deviant at all.What are the four 4 different types of deviant behavior labels? ›
Becker defined deviance as a social creation in which “social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance, and by applying those rules to particular people and labeling them as outsiders.” Becker grouped behaviour into four categories: falsely accused, conforming, pure deviant, and ...Who is a deviant person example? ›
A deviant is someone whose behavior falls far outside of society's norms; as an adjective, deviant can describe the behavior itself. For example, a fifty-year-old punk rocker has a deviant appearance, compared to his peers. That aging punk deviates, or departs from the norm, of people his age.What causes deviant behavior? ›
Deviant behaviour may be caused due to the individual inability or failure to conform to the social norms or the societies failure to make its components follow the norms set by it as normal behaviour. The inability to conform may be the result of a mental or physical defect.What is deviant in your own words? ›
Deviance refers to rule-breaking behaviour of some kind which fails to conform to the norms and expectations of a particular society or social group. Deviance is closely related to the concept of crime, which is law breaking behaviour. Criminal behaviour is usually deviant, but not all deviant behaviour is criminal.What is the full meaning of deviant? ›
: someone or something that deviates from a norm. especially : a person who differs markedly (as in social adjustment or behavior) from what is considered normal or acceptable. social/moral/sexual deviants.
What are the two types of social deviance? ›
As aforementioned, there are two types of deviance, formal and informal deviances. Formal deviance- involves the violation of legislated laws. Examples of this type of deviance include murder, rape and robbery. Informal deviance- involves the abuse of informal social norms.