Defining Deviancy Down

In 1993, Senator Daniel pulled a surprise on the nation when he said that the country was defining deviancy down through the normalization of deviant behaviors in order to accommodate moral decay in society. He argued that a restriction should always be placed where certain amount of deviant behavior acceptable. His argument circumvented the potentiality of certain activities that were initially considered bizarre to be widely accepted. This study reflects the view of Senator Moynihan on some acts of criminal justice that have been integrated into popular culture.

The ‘definition of Deviancy down’ is curtailing the level on which some activities that are classified as deviant in society are allowed to go without punishments. It is very unfortunate that the phrase has been rapidly integrated into the popular culture. The level of deviant behavior in the current American society has up surged beyond what can be accommodated by the community. Besides, deviancy has also been defined to cover up for certain kinds of behavior that were formerly stigmatized. Moynihan gave the example of a case whereby regions with a large number of young adults and areas with higher percentage of single-parents experience almost a similar rate of crime (15). Today, divorce is considered to be normal behavior, marriage as lifestyle instead of commitment.

A society with a higher number of young adults who are born out of ‘broken families’ has a higher chance of destruction. In concurrence with the words of Moynihan, Cole asserts that there is unusual tolerance of deviant behavior in society, especially in public schools (Moynihan 16). Students who cause havoc in schools are left to walk freely without punishment while their teachers are advised to be less condemnatory to the students. Today, acts like fighting are rarely punished. This behavior may infiltrate even to the places of work whereby employees would expect their supervisors to be accommodative to their deviant behaviors. In order to reduce the rate of crime and unrest, I would suggest that the government needs to invest on family therapy that can significantly cut down single-parent families that are considered to be the breeding ground for men with deviant behaviors.



Work Cited

Moynihan, Daniel P. “Defining Deviancy Down: How We've Become Accustomed to Alarming Levels of Crime and Destructive Behavior” Winter, 1993/1994. Web. 28 February 2014.