Deviant Behavior - Research Paper Example

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Popular misunderstanding of social deviance is that it is best applied to the lives and self-presentation of hippies, gangsters, criminals, terrorists, psychos and total weirdos. There are at least two things wrong with that understanding. The first is that deviance is not a…
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Deviant Behavior
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Download file to see previous pages A criminal is not deviant among other criminals, and a psycho may be admired as such in the eyes of other psychos. Because deviance is relative, it is quite possible to justify one’s own deviant behavior, and because deviance refers to a violation of norms, to be judged deviant requires a specific social standard against which one is being measured (edu.LearnSoc.org). There are psychosocial considerations related to deviant behavior,
Stephen Glass was an apparently fantastic journalist, with a knack for running into exciting people, intriguing events, and fascinating details. As it turned out, Stephen invented a web of lies which grew bigger and more complex all the time. Because he was a bright and accomplished liar, with a vivid imagination, he wove a support system of manufactured falsehood to support his lies, and he built a stunning professional career out of these lies, until it finally all collapsed (Leung). Had he built a career writing fiction, he would have been highly successful and never been judged deviant, because fiction does not require truth, and imagination is an asset, rather than a liability. However, the norms in journalism are different than those used to measure fiction authors (Brewer).
This is a case of professional deviance. Stephen Glass did not murder anyone, but he killed the professional trust placed in him and he compromised the trust placed in the magazines in which his stories were published. Stephen did not con any old people out of their life savings, but he conned the people he worked with and the public. He did not steal anyone’s property, but he stole respect and a good professional reputation that did not belong to him, under the circumstances.
When people make mistakes, even big mistakes, the social expectation is that one immediately offers a personal and heartfelt apology. Especially in journalism, it is important to correct mistakes and apologize (Brewer). For the longest time, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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