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Compare the psychological and sociological theories explaining deviance.

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vivkas | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted April 21, 2012 at 8:41 PM via web

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Compare the psychological and sociological theories explaining deviance.

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dftbap | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:50 PM (Answer #1)

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In the basic premise of the question lies the difference between Psychology and Sociology.  Psychology is the study of the self, the ego, the individual.  Sociology is the study of group dynamics. 

One deviance theory is differential association theory.  In this theory, outside forces, or those with whom an individual associates, help create the deviant behavior by role modeling. This is a sociological theory.

Another is the Anomie theory.  In this theory, individuals learn the socially acceptable goals of society, yet have no means of attaining them without utilizing deviant behaviors.

Yet another theory is labeling theory, definitely a sociological concept, in which society labels certain acts or ways of being as deviant; therefore, anyone displaying this behavior is deviant.

A more psychological theory of deviance is the control theory of deviance.  In this theory there is the actual battle of wills within oneself and whether they consider an act deviant or not. In this theory one is battling with oneself and the beliefs and values he or she independently holds.

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