Sample Sociology Essays on Social Deviance

Social Deviance


Deviance is considered as a social taboo that indicates an overwhelming lack of morality, social justice, or social responsibility. It is often associated with a person whose psychological value is tittering on the verge of becoming unruly, inconsiderate, lacking emotion, poor mental judgment, among others. According to psychologists, this analogy is true since the person perpetrating the act considers social deviancy as a precursor for worse behaviors and actions. In one study, it was revealed that at least 60% of juveniles in prison began social deviancy at an early age, which then developed from petty disturbances t petty crimes, and finally matured to bigger and more dangerous crimes.

In this analysis, the severity of the social deviancy act does not meet the high level of scrutiny that would result in legal action such as arrest or jail term. This has been devised as simply an experiment to assess people’s reactions when faced with some situations. Additionally, it is designed to check the ability of a social deviant act to have a positive or negative impact on the behaviors of those around. This is because some social deviant acts can be considered as socially acceptable since they address some missing aspect of society’s daily needs, but where no one is willing to come out and air their frustrations at this social injustice. In these cases, the outcome is often acceptable and in some instances construed as a call to action for people to fight for their rights. Therefore, in this analysis, the social deviant act that was perpetrated was considered as tittering between acceptable behavior, and outright misbehavior and disrespect for other people and organizational policies.

The social deviant act

The social deviant act that was perpetrated was presented and chosen carefully to ensure that it did not meet the criteria for criminal behavior, but was still magnanimous enough to be considered as a credible social deviant act. According to the act, my issue was with the lack of sale of cigarettes being sold at CVS. This cessation of sale of cigarettes at the store was an organizational policy supplied to all its stores as a measure meant to promote morality and health within society since smoking is considered as an unhealthy for primary and passive smokers exposed to the smoke. However, this policy was inconsiderate to smokers since they were customers with equal rights to access to products sold at the stores, as other people buying other products.

For instance, use of alcohol can have similar adverse health effects as smoking, though their ban is nonexistent. Therefore, my social deviant act was influenced by the need for stopping discrimination of people through victimization and denial of some products that are essential for ensuring that they enjoy life, as others do. The frustrations of this lack of sale of cigarettes were manifested through throwing a tantrum at the store. The tantrum was being thrown at a point where all attendants were within earshot of hearing and seeing my rage being manifested through shouting, throwing hands in the air, cursing, and being unruly to everyone, I considered as having a hand at this cessation of sale of cigarettes.

The major causality of the social deviant act had been to make people angry for the disturbance of their peaceful and normal activity. This causality was meant to assess how fast people react, get engrossed, and either support or ridicule the social deviant act. However, the outcome of the social deviant presented a two-thronged outcome, one of which was unexpected. The first outcome of the social deviant act was frustration and anger by attendants and workers of CVS who were in close proximity to me. The second unexpected outcome of the social deviant took longer to register and present itself was among some members of the public who understood my frustrations and even though they were angry at the disturbance, they believed that my frustrations were valid and some rose up to support me, albeit carefully. Therefore, my research hypothesis for this paper is what is the social effect of social deviancy on people when different viewpoints on the issue under review are presented?

Literature review

Deviancy is a causality of an underline frustration or psychological problem afflicting an individual. Acting out of these frustrations can act as a release to the individual in maintaining a perceived level of balance between anger and relaxation by airing out the frustrations to others. In psychology, presenting one’s emotions by finding an avenue to air them out is crucial for beginning the process of healing and dealing with the particular issue. For instance, research indicates that bullying in school is because of poor self-esteem by the bullies due to some social misgivings aggrieving them, and for which they are trying to control or deal with it. Therefore, these bullies find that being violent towards others and causing them pain and frustration provides them with a sense of control of a situation, which if applied to their problem is impossible to gain control (Hogan & Roberts 213).

Manifesting one’s anger towards something is a mechanism for dealing with the issue afflicting them. Therefore, in applying the bullying example, psychology tackle this issue by finding out what ails the bully, and counseling the individual, as well as looking at methodologies for addressing and resolving their problems. Research shows that this methodology has been proven to have a 74% chance of succeeding in rooting out bullies and correcting their behaviors.

In the setting of perpetrating a social deviant act in a public place, assessing people’s reactions presents a dissimilar, yet interesting avenue to address the social stigma faced by both the perpetrator, as well as the people around them witnessing and being frustrated by one’s outbursts. One of the social theories that can be used to address this situation is conflict theory. According to this theory, the powerful people in business, politics, and social castes use all means possible to ensure that their needs are catered by using the weak to advance their ideologies. This theory suggests that people tend to become overtly acceptable to this behavior or actions if their zeal or strength is unable to question such actions.

In the contemporary world, forcing one’s will on the people is considered as dictatorial and often results in adverse effects such as violence, mass actions, and open discernment. Therefore, this ruling class has devised means to craft their needs in a manner that seems to appeal, albeit marginally, to the people’s needs, but more inclined towards theirs. Therefore, this same ideology can be applied to the social deviant act that I perpetrated in the store in a bid to make sure that my voice was heard and acted upon. One of the ideologies behind conflict theory is ensuring that people attend to one’s need in a manner that ensures that it is achieved. In this instance, striking a balance between being social deviant and ensuring my needs were met was achieved through promotion of an ideology where I presented myself as a person who was being victimized by being denied something that is considered as infringing to my rights to equality and prejudice.

The presentation of this analogy was unsuccessful as applied to the stores attendants and supervisor since they considered my social deviant act as a disturbance and disruption of their normal operations. Accordingly, they acted out by presenting the same level of anger I presented, while trying to maintain a level of sanity and perseverance to avoid angering other customers, or hurting me. Taking advantage of this situation, it gave me more time to air my views and frustrations and attract a larger crowd to listen. According to the stores rules, employees should act in a responsible and considerate manner to all their customers regardless of their issues or demographical backgrounds. This code of ethics and behavior is present in most organizations that in the service sector business. Additionally, management dictates that one should ensure that their employees are able to deal with all types of customer accordingly without causing undue harm to them in a manner that would result in a legal suit being filed by the complainant.

Therefore, I used this opportunity to present my case and use another theory of social proof to elicit a different reaction among people. Social proof dictates that a person or group of persons can be able to influence the actions, mannerisms, behaviors, and attitudes of others by influencing the influence behavior of a collective group. The social influence does not necessarily have to be verbal, but can also be visual, ambience, action oriented, or using body language (Hogan & Roberts 209). Therefore, social proof can be classified as an art of persuasion where the doers affect a behavior in others with the intention of eliciting a particular action or behavior from them.

This analogy of social proof can be the backbone of building a self-image that people can identify a person with. For instance, image is borne out of one’s need to act or behave in a particular fashion. Therefore, one can use such an ideology to understand how social proof affects people. Ever found yourself in a situation where a person is laughing uncontrollably without any reason, but somehow you also start laughing yourself? This is an example of the effect and influence of social proof. In real social life, hanging around people who share one’s ideologies and mannerisms can help build one’s image through the influence of social proof. People will often be inclined to act and behave in a manner that is reminiscent of those in their factions or their friends. This is the same analogy that clubs and restaurants use to attract customers by denying entrance to their facilities .They cause queues outside to make people want to enter that facility based on the size of the queue. Secondly, ambiguity shows that people can build a self-image by mimicking what other people do based on the difficulty of the task, and their ability to complete. Finally, similarity causes people to behave like packs or as a group, which can build one’s self image.

In influencing the people around me, I presented a scenario where I seemed as the aggrieved and victimized party to the whole situation. This discrimination ideology rendered me an ear among the public and resulted in some people supporting my behavior. My main aim at this point was to see if mob mentality could be useful in getting me out of a situation that was quickly getting out of hand and dangerous to by welfare. Additionally, I sought to see if it was also possible to control this mob through eliciting certain actions, utterances, and body languages (Zandvliet 135). After arguing with the supervisors and attendants of the stores, eventually, they listened to my woes owing to the public outcry that was beginning to erupt at the store. Through this support, and with the management fearing the creation of a situation that would paint the store in a bad light, they opted to be calm. They assured me, as well as other members of the public that my frustrations would be addressed by top management of the store and feedback on their decision would be communicated to the public as soon as it was released.


In this section, an analysis of the social deviant act is assessed based on magnitude, mode of presentation, and level of acceptance or ridicule by the public. The social deviant act was performed and executed at one of the stores of CVS. CVS recently just stopped selling cigarettes at all their locations across the country. I went to the CVS by my house and asked for a pack of cigarettes. When the clerk tells me that they do not sell them anymore, I threw a fit demanding that they sell me a pack. I caused a scene (without getting in trouble) and observe the reactions of the patrons and the clerk.

Among the people present at the store, and whose reaction would be under assessment were the clerk attendants, the store’s supervisor, and other members of the public. All these people were within earshot of hearing or seeing my frustration and fit. In the ensuing scenario, the assessment of attitudes, behaviors and actions of all persons within the store would be assessed and conclusions drawn as to mechanisms to control these scenario through observation of these people. Since reactions were presented using two varied sets of reactions and people, the social deviant act proved strenuous, yet exciting. While assessing the frustrations that my actions would elicit, I also changed my strategy to include making others listening and act in my favor through the use and application of sociology that advocates that mob mentality can be effective in influencing the collective behavior of a group of people towards aligning their ideologies with those being presented. In this context, it is inconceivable to consider the whole scenario as one that was not successful since it presented an assortment of social applications and theories. These were part of the research hypothesis that went beyond the assessment of the behaviors and mannerisms of people.

The target audience for this project was drawn from my fellow students, academicians, and other scholars drawn from varied fields of study. This was representative of the need to create awareness for people to become socially and emotionally aware of their surroundings and environment and the strategies they can employ to cause a change to this environment. In this context, the research is not meant as a means to cause mass actions towards resolving issues plaguing the society, but is rather a call to action for people to embrace a culture of airing their views in an open manner that is considerate of the views and perception of those around them (Zandvliet 127). The purpose of this research was then achieved since it provided me with the opportunity to highlight an issue that I considered as vital and important to the society, and aired it in a manner that ensured my voice was heard.


The data presented coupled with the results obtained in this report and research was vital in generating a sustainable and useful tool of assessment of measuring the level of mob mentality from changing it from social deviancy to positive criticism to an issue that is of dire consequences to the society. The change from social deviance to positive criticism is a unique outcome of the situation and managed to get me out of a situation whose consequences could have been dire and could have resulted in arrest. The application of several theories to the situation was essential in providing effective feedback on how society reacts socially and psychologically to different situations.

Research posits that in the enhancement of a system where the variable so a given situation are unknown, it is paramount that one becomes rigid in adapting to the different situations and actions that could occur. In this analysis, since the outcome of social deviancy is disruption of normal activity, it is bound to elicit negative and dire consequences to the perpetrator. Therefore presenting one’s views in a manner that appeals to others, though is injurious to the views of others was very smart and intellectual. Research into the field of mob mentality and changing people’s views and behaviors through social proof is essential and widespread. Its application to such unique situation where a balancing act is presented and the outcome is uncertain, but twisted to one’s favor is also limited. However, researchers believe that it not the actions and views of a person or group that is able to change the mindsets of people, but is rather a collection of things such as confidence, tone, body language, imagery, among others that is able to cause the change in perceptions on others.


In this assessment and research, I discovered that it is possible to become an agent of change in society, regardless of one’s position or demographical backgrounds, as long as one has a viable platform to air their ideologies. This is representative of the social deviant act where I was able to air my grievances to an audience that listened and agreed to my views, and proposed measures to address them. Using this analogy, it can be deduced that social deviance as an agent of change can twist to have a positive or negative outcome, depending on how presents his issues, and how one is able to adjust their actions, mannerisms, and attitudes to the changing variables of the situation.

Works Cited

Hogan, Robins, & Roberts, Brent W. (2004). A socio-analytic model of maturity. Journal of Career Assessment. 12 (2004): 207-217.

Zandvliet, David. Development and Validation Of The Place-based Learning and Constructivist Environment Survey (PLACES). Learning Environment Research, 15. 1 (2012): 125–140.