Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Deviance is either repeatedly or seriously violating the norms of a society. Deviance is relative to both time and place. In other words, depending on when you are some place or where you are, you might be considered deviant or might not. When I was in the Caribbean on this remote island, I was stunned to see a guy carrying a sack of mangoes on his head. I took his picture because to me, this was deviant. However, what I didn't realize was that taking a stranger's picture was deviant to them. We looked at many other examples of deviance from class:
continuously talking to oneself in public
having a tattoo
doing your homework
holding the hand of a significant other in public
listening to your radio loud enough for everyone around you hear.
dropping out of high school
using illegal drugs
growing your hair really long
cutting your hair really short
a man wearing a dress
a business person wearing jeans
balancing your groceries on your head in public
leaving your parent's home after getting married
driving 100 m.p.h. down Port Clinton Rd.
attacking another person with a weapon
two men kissing
women working in a factory or in construction
woman with shaved armpits
shopping on Sunday
getting divorced
All of these have instances when or where they would or wouldn't be considered deviant. It depends on where you are and when you are there.

Deviance also needs to be perceived. In the following video, think about who is considered deviant and why:

It doesn't matter that Jerry didn't actually picked his nose. If he is perceived as deviant (which he is) then he is considered deviant and he will be treated as such.

Here is my picture of the guy with mangos on his head in Dominica:

Takeaway (For more info see Ferris and Stein 153-155):
What is Deviance?

What is the relativity of deviance?


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  2. Women with shaved armpits are deviant?

    1. In France or other countries, they would be, but in the US they would not. It's another example of deviance being relative to where you are.

  3. Ahh, I thought they were all supposed to be seen as deviant to us. I didn't read the last sentence