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Quit often in our day-to-day lives we hear the word deviance but never truly know the concepts behind it It is not a complicated term although it is one with many theories behind it giving a vast variety of interpretations of just what deviance is and is not Questions arise as to its relativity Of course no one can proclaim deviance is not relative as deviance is behavior that does not follow common perceptions An important sociological concept states that people conform or perform to societal expectation or norms Brown 1965 Conformity provides order in the society Thus when someone is doing something that the rest of society find unacceptable or out of the ordinary he or she is considered deviant While the definition of deviance may appear obvious this is not necessarily the case for the sociology community The sociology of deviance contains definitions of an extensive nature which are branched off into several perspective groups For example sociologist Erving Goffman applies the concept of stigma or more commonly labeling stating that ones behavior and actions deemed deviant are applied by others Turner 1996 Howard Beckers definition seems to be commonly accepted as an adequate description of this concept asserting that deviance is whatever a social audience reacts against or labels as deviant However another sociologist Erdwin Pfuhl believes that the label deviant depends on a groups notion of actions and conditions that should and should not occur This view also suggests that labels of deviance can change within different societies and times One might ask why there are so many interpretations of deviance The answer is rather simple Due to its relative nature people will interpret activities quite differently Clinard 1998 For instance within certain sub- cultural groups it is normal to smoke marijuana Yet to the larger society it is considered deviant This is true even though there are large amount of people within the society using drugs recreationally However if
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