Deviance and Control Essay

Deviance is defined as the violation of social norms. Goffman (p. 54) attributes stigma to the prevalence of deviance in the society. He categorizes stigmas as physical, individual or group identity. However, with respect to deviance and social control, it is the response that matters. Goffman (p 54) explains that some individuals may choose to undergo surgery to deal with physical stigma. Others may focus on improving their lives to compensate for what they lack. Nonetheless, the most important response in this context is where individuals use their failures as an excuse for wrong doing.
According to Merton (p 39), the management of tension within the society plays a major role in creating justice, parity and access to basic rights for all. The society enforces rules and regulations to regulate social conduct. The response to these regulations differs between different individuals and societal groups. Therefore, some citizens may interpret these regulations as just or unwarranted. Responses, therefore, range from compliance to illegal conduct (Merton 39).

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