Youth Sociology and Deviance
Youth, Sociology, and Deviance When the word deviance has crossed the path of society, it seems to have a postulation attached to the meaning. This postulation usually refers to behaviour that purveys a negative insight often resulting in acts of violence, crime and anti social behaviour within a society and community; it is also often associated with the social entity of youth.
Thinking about deviance in a sociologist concept, what does this term really mean within a sociological framework ‘such an assumption seems to me to ignore the central fact about deviance: It is created by society’ (Becker 1996, 8) This essay will discuss the sociological concept of deviance and outline how it is commonly associated with the entity of youth in contemporary society. When understanding deviance it is important to understand who labels who a deviant.
The media has a major role in displaying and portraying particular group’s deviant which informs society who then grasp the concept that any radical change from the norm is an act of defiance. However deviant behaviour can be labelled by older generations; when the older generations can see the younger generations questioning basic beliefs and ideas which older generations have became a custom to, they see it as a form of a threat (Keel 2007).
Sociologists see that deviance is not the personal attributes of an individual but prefer it to be viewed as an official property of social situations and social systems (John Scott 2006) meaning that there is not a permanent concord on the essence of deviance. (Marshall et al 2006). With this sociologist perception on deviance, it has created a phenomenon in which deviance behaviour is socially portrayed it challenges the social order the existing web of relationship, values, reality and meaning (Keel 2007) thus influencing the older generations of contemporary times labelling younger generations deviant.
When looking at deviance we also need to understand the norms of society. The term norm refers to the common prospect of behaviour that is considered culturally favourable and suitable by society as a whole (John Scott, Norm 2006). So when social situations, like a group of individuals drinking and displaying challenging behaviour within the society of norms and the social system acknowledges a threat, the phenomenon of deviance is portrayed as undesirable, meaning the unknown society does not know how to react so the label of deviant has been given. So when thinking about the sociological concept of deviant behaviour, we ave discovered early that it is not referred to as a personal attribute of an individual but as a socially manifested phenomena thus meaning two different things. One meaning that if anti social behaviour was seen as a norm and the social system did not see it as a threat hence leading to the meaning of deviant inexistence. The other meaning is that if the norms have been challenged and treated by a new socially driven behaviour, but in time become favourable and acceptable by the structured social system, the term deviance fades and becomes mainstream leading to the norm of society.
The act of deviance cannot be labelled until the response of others has occurred it is not the behaviour of the individual it is the way the act of the individuals is responded in society (Becker 1996). Youth is a term that refers to a group of beings that are on the branch between adulthood and childhood. However sociologists understand the term youth as more of a certified status or look at it is a socially constructed label, rather than a word being understood as being the biological condition of being young (John Scott 2006) which has in times been associated with the label deviant.
Youth can be a confusing word with society inflicted meanings. For example: meaning young, youth meaning troubled and meaning deviant. They find themselves in a conflict of boundaries meaning that they have been denied in the society of adults but they themselves like to move away from the world of the child but still carry some child like maturity (Sibley 1995). Thus, leading youth in society to appear threatening and challenging, the social system in which the adult society is primarily sociality integrated in is displaying an act of criticism which can be translated in to the sociological concept of deviant.
Young people seem to purpose this deviant like threat to the wider society, because they are still displaying their childlike links with the multitasking of trying to find their spot in the adult world. (Sibley 1995). As it has been evident so far that the entity of youth is in a stage of conflicting boundaries, it leaves this group to develop their own socially structured system to what sociologists refer to as a form of youth culture.
Youth culture includes a number of practises: identity, socialising, consumption, resistance to dominate structures and so forth (John Germov 2007) which can at times oppose the norm of society, thus leading into deviant associations responded by society. Youth culture is made up of various taste cultures, with the various forms of taste culture combining together to form something that has not been in existence it is forming the unknown, which in response from the society of adults can be lead to believe as a form of deviance. The mixing of different cultural and radical identities within a contemporary ethnic identity’ (John Germov 2007, 113). Drawing on personal experience working in the youth sector, young people seem to display some form of deviant behaviour due to feeling not being valued as an adult but at the same time not being seen as a child, thus leading into radical behaviour to try and reinvent themselves and find a place of their own in society.
From personal experience it has been identified that in today’s contemporary society, parents of young people most likely work all the time and don’t have the time to help and guide them into adults, so in short term young people are left to their own devices. There has been instances where there has been a great deal of communication conflict thus causing the young person to express their self in a way which may not follow the rules of the community, group or private family leaving the outsiders to respond in a negative way and labelling the young person as acting out a form of deviant behaviour.
The sociological concept of deviance is not related to the individual doing of a person, it is the label in which has been created by society the act of the unfavourable and receiving a negative response from society. Deviance is for the radical unknown and the new which this paper has demonstrated how the unknown and new radical culture of the youth have defined against the norms of society thus attaching the stigma of deviance being commonly associated with the entity of youth in a contemporary society. Becker, Howard S. “Deviance and the responces of others . In Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance , by Howard S Becker, 8 – 14. New York: Macmillian Publishing Co. ,Inc, 1996. da la fuente, Eduardo. “Week 9 Lecture 17. ” Deviance . Sydeny : Macquarie University , 26 August 2010. —. “Week 9 Lecture 18. ” Youth Culture and ‘Moral Panics’. Sydeny : Macquaqrie University , 26 August 2010. Davis, Mark. “ Gangland: Cultural Elites and the New Generationalism. ” In Playing the generation game: insiders, outsiders and the new generationalism, by Mark Davis, 1-20. Sydney: Allen & Unwin , 1997. John Germov, Marilyn Poole. Public Sociology An
Introduction to Australian Society. Sydney : Allen & Unwin, 2007. John Scott, Gordon Marshall. “deviance of sociology. ” Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. 2006. http://www. enotes. com/oxsoc-encyclopedia/deviance-sociology (accessed August 26th, 2010). —. “Norm. ” Oxford dictionary of sociology. 2006. http://www. enotes. com/oxsoc-encyclopedia/norm (accessed August 26, 2010). Keel, Robert O. “Introduction to the Sociology of Deviance. ” Introduction to the Sociology of Deviance. 29th January 2007. http://www. umsl. edu/~keelr/200/intrdev. html (accessed August 26th , 2010 ).
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