Friday, June 17, 2011

CheckPoint: Deviant Behavior

An example of human behavior that is considered deviant in one society, but is not

considered deviant in another society is the number of marriages allowed. In the Northern part of

Nepal in Sherpa tribal groups, a woman first marries the eldest brother, and then later on, she

will also marry the youngest brother in order to prevent property fragmentation. In our society,

we only marry one person at a time (unless you are Mormon), and when you do not want to be

with that person anymore, you get a divorce. Divorce is also something that is considered deviant

behavior in some other countries. India is an example of a country that does not believe in

divorce. They only have a 1.1% of divorce rates per year while America is considered to have a

54.8% rate per year. Also Sweden has the highest rate of divorces at a whopping 54.9%. The

factors that contributed to this society’s perspective of the deviant behavior of the Sherpa tribal

groups is they have seen too much of their land broken up, and over the years, they have found

this to be the most effective way to carry on their legacy. We see it as a social norm here in the

United States. It is something that has worked its way to a social norm through time. Back in the

late 1800’s divorce was a lot less common. Through the years society has responded to the

deviant behavior and brought more people together through moral ties. This deviant behavior had

also encouraged a social change, pushing society’s moral boundaries.

If a crime is committed by someone who has a powerful status in this society, their

deviant behavior would be handled (in comparison to someone who has less power in society)

very publicly. We see famous people on and in the news all the time. Lindsey Lohan for example

went to court again for drugs. She has been in and out of rehab 3 times, some jail (not over 30

days), and she continues on with her deviant behavior. A person with far less power than her

would have gone to jail for a year the first time! 

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