Compare the psychological and sociological theories explaining deviance.

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The major difference between the two disciplines is that psychology is concerned with people as individuals while sociology is concerned with how people act in groups. For this reason, the methods by which deviance is studied in these two fields are very different.

Sociologists look at how societies define and respond to deviance. They might study how behaviors considered deviant at one period might become normalized as societies evolve. They might also look at how studying what is considered deviant behavior in a society might help researchers understand the values and norms of that culture. Sociological theories consider deviance to be rooted in the impetus for a society to create norms as guides to behavior and to increase social cohesion. Some see deviance as grounded in power asymmetry with the powerful creating norms and imposing labels of deviance on outsiders.

Psychologists study individuals. A psychologist might be concerned with what causes a given individual to act in a manner...

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