Five Current Issues in Social Deviance

Societies are compelled to find ways to normalize belief and behavior and to define that which is acceptable or unacceptable to most who live in a group, community or nation. In more cases than we can count, there have been societies that have found horrific actions and behavior to be the norm, acceptable and even a required process. 

Defining behavior as deviant: A global problem and conflict.

Attempting to stone an American woman for false claims of adultery would more likely result in the deaths of the men who attempt to do the stoning. In other countries, the whole neighborhood may readily join in on the stoning, if only out of fear of being sanctioned for not participating. In this sense, stoning serves as a major example of how one society will normalize a behavior, defining it as street level justice, while another society will prohibit that behavior, defining it as murder.

The laws and structures of one society can be viewed as extremely deviant when a person moves into another society. With the exponential increases in world migration, movement and settlement, there will be more of conflict that is based on people’s ideas about bringing what they consider to be normal and acceptable conduct into other national and community settings.

Religious, personal experience or lifestyle behaviors that are different from the norms of a community:

Individuals are either capable of conforming to the major norms and values of a society or they have personal, religious, physiological or mental issues that prevent them from conforming. 

Religious followings, personal experience or lifestyle choices are reasons why people will increasingly deviate from the norms and values of their surrounding community or their host nation. A person who worked in a turkey processing plant may never eat turkey again. An observant Muslim or Jew will have specific dietary restrictions, holidays and religious observations.  As communities are becoming less homogeneous, especially in developed countries, issues of tolerance and acceptance, rather than defining basic differences as deviant will be the major focus of governments, communities and individuals.

The main concerns related to deviancy based on religion and lifestyle choices are under aged and forced marriage, abuse of women and children, animal sacrifice and abuse, and violation of common health, safety, immigration and criminal laws.

Mental illness

A psychopath is said, on a very basic level, to be born with a brain or mental structure that will never enable them to perform certain mental functions, such as having empathy, remorse and ability to take responsibility for their actions. There are also situations where they can only get satisfaction from behaviors that are called “monstrous” or unexplainable. Sociopaths are said to have life experience that leads them to do things that make no sense to any society.

These are then examples of deviance that comes from socialization or medical problems. The main issues concerning this area of deviancy are crimes against people and property and the ability of law enforcement to identify and get those who do harm to others out of the society and into jail or treatment. No one talks about the corporation, which is identified now as an individual who is often riddled with both psychopath’s and sociopath’s tendencies.

There are many specific examples of social deviance that lead to new laws, restrictions, prohibitions, law enforcement and judicial  workload every week. Many of these examples have their origins in the overwhelming, pervasive and intractable drug industry and cultures of the world.

Drug abuse, the drug society and the drug industry and social deviance:

Even when drug influences and addictions are not leading people into excessively deviant behavior, the functioning of the drug sellers, drug makers, cartels and organizations leads to deviant conduct that is becoming intolerable. Almost every week, a small child goes missing or is horribly killed. On a regular basis, someone close to the victim turns out to have been involved with substance abuse. Women are abused, enslaved or horribly killed. The drug wars involve killings of police and soldiers as well as beheading and other horrific “murders by example”. 

Child and woman predation, child and woman oppression and rage against women:

Finally, child molestation, rape, murder, enslavement and violent abuse of women and children will never be considered by most stable and rational societies as anything but deviant behavior. But families, courts and communities in developed countries often release repeat offenders back into society where they repeat their deviant behavior again and again. In politically and socially unstable countries, virtually every crime that can be done to a human being is being done more so to women and children.

This is clearly regarded as deviant behavior, but the conditions are not in place to prevent or stop the behavior. This is beyond being an “issue” in social deviance. It is a crisis of worldwide and inhuman proportions.