Deviant behavior is a term that is continually changing. Various types of deviant behaviors are criminal in nature while others are not. Deviant behaviors are bizarre and unexpected acts that are destructive or abnormal in nature (Humphrey and Schmalleger 3). The term deviant behavior has two viewpoints; that is the situational perspective and the normative perspective.
From a normative perspective, deviance refers to the process of violating accepted social norms, for example, running down the street naked (Humphrey and Schmalleger 4). Running naked is a violation of socially accepted behaviors and standards. As such, it will generate negative views from the society. Situational perspective refers to social situations that surround the behavior. In this case, the society looks at the prevailing situation surrounding the behavior. It is important to note that most deviant behaviors violate socially accepted norms (Humphrey and Schmalleger 3).
Acts of social deviance As a student, I have done acts that are deviant in nature. One incident involved walking into a while class wearing a very huge pink hairpiece and acting like it was not a big deal. Getting into class wearing such a hairpiece caught the attention of everyone including the lecturer. In my view, the hairpiece was a representation of my identity at that moment. However, to them it was not ordinary for students to wear such a hairpiece during class hours. In a class where the lecturer demanded orderliness in terms of appearance, most of my fellow students were apprehensive about my behavior. Some of the fellow students even chose to avoid me.
One time during an examination, I got to the examination room thirty minutes late. Since it was the first day of the examinations, everyone thought that I was insane. In fact, the supervisor had to ask whether everything was all right. To her surprise, I did not act as if I was surprised or anxious at all. Some of the students started looking at me in a different manner after the examination as if to confirm that I was not good for their academic life.
During a family function, I chose to refer to my parents using their titles Mr. and Mrs. The act rattled other family guests and relatives who were in attendance. Some of them called me aside and wondered why I was behaving in that manner. It seemed as though I did not appreciate my parents. They left that function convinced that something was wrong with me since I was “disrespectful” to my parents. Some of my cousins even refused to associate with me after that event because their parents had discouraged them. Later on, I realized that most of my relatives had suggested to my parents that I visit a local counselor.
Engaging in self-talk in class was one of the most interesting acts that depicted a general shift from the norms. Some of the concerned classmates reported the case to the teacher because they were uncomfortable with that behavior. When I told them that I was all right, they were surprised and thought that I was insane. I ended up in the principal’s office for further assessment. Later on, my parents also came to verify my mental status. I was almost punished after realizing that I was all right. Essentially, this was because of acting in a manner that “scared” my classmates. In addition, I also brought to a halt the usual learning program.
In essence, whether situational or normative, deviant acts draw attention from the members of the society. The society will seek to either understand that behavior or avoid the behavior. It is important to note either way; a person will always get negative views from the society.
Humphrey, John and Schmalleger, Frank. Deviant Behavior, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2011. Print.