The Concepts of Deviance and Crime

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The concepts of deviance and crime are frequently used interchangeably, yet they are fundamentally different. Deviation refers to a rule violation, especially if it violates socially or culturally accepted standards. Deviance, which is nothing more than a public mistake, is often associated with deviations. Crime is an act that must be criticized and punished by society because they are destructive not only to individuals but also to the general public. Examples of crimes include property crimes, personal crimes, victimless crimes, juvenile delinquency, public security violations, and cybercrime. Over time, crime rates around the world are rising due to a variety of events and causes.

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Deviations are defined as a divergence from socially accepted standards and norms. This is a type of behavior that society calls ‘abnormal.’ In other words, whether an action or behavior is considered deviant depends largely on how people perceive and label that behavior (Anleu, 2020). In essence, deviations are determined by the social environment or circumstances in which they occur. One example of deviation could be smoking in a public place. Even though in some countries, the law does not prohibit smoking in public areas, this action might be seen as a deviation. In addition, behaviors that are considered ‘deviations’ can change over time. Moreover, being counted as a ‘deviation’ in one community does not necessarily mean being counted as a ‘deviation’ in another community. As a result, the activities that makeup ‘deviant behavior’ may vary by country and culture.

Any illegal act or negligence that reasons physical or mental harm to some other man or woman is taken into consideration a crime and is commonly prohibited and penalized through regulations. It is prosecuted through the government due to the fact it creates a threat to the public’s welfare and the state’s interests (Anleu, 2020). A fine, jail, or both may be imposed as a penalty for committing a crime. Crime is an offensive behavior that violates the regulation and is harshly condemned through society. Examples of crimes include rape, theft, murder, robbery, childhood abuse, domestic abuse, terrorism, burglary, sexual harassment, and more. Some actions behaviors might be considered deviant but not criminal, and vice versa. For example, excessive drinking and self-harming are not crimes, but they are deviance. On the other hand, not paying taxes is a crime but not always considered as deviance since this behavior does not explicitly threaten other people in a society.


Anleu, S. R. (2020). Sociology of deviance and criminal law. In Research Handbook on the Sociology of Law. Edward Elgar Publishing. Web.

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"The Concepts of Deviance and Crime." PsychologyWriting, 20 Nov. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'The Concepts of Deviance and Crime'. 20 November.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "The Concepts of Deviance and Crime." November 20, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The Concepts of Deviance and Crime." November 20, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "The Concepts of Deviance and Crime." November 20, 2022.