Liazos Theory Of Deviance

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Deviance can be broadly defined as the transgressions of social norms. It is a concept in sociology that has drawn many different analytical perspectives. This includes perspectives such as the reactivist, normative, statistical and absolutist. In his work, Liazos attempts to define the current state of the field of study by analyzing works of different authors in the field. Through this unconventional approach of studying deviance, Liazos attempted to bring light to the common approach sociologists take in studying more about the topic. I feel that this is a wise decision as we would be able to consider the positives and also more importantly, the shortcomings so that we can improve on the methodology, allowing for a more accurate and valid…show more content…
While he noted that the different authors aim to ‘humanize the deviant’ and that the word ‘deviant’ was only used to refer to the group of individuals, he argued that the use of the word itself possibly had the opposite effect. Liazos commented that the word itself indirectly and subconsciously reinforces the dominant idea that these individuals are different and separate from the majority of society. As a result, the individual would inadvertently take on the role labelled on him, therefore being an actual deviant. This is known as the self-fulfilling prophecy. While this flow of thought is legitimate, I personally feel that it does not hold that much importance. This is because despite the sociolinguistic implications of the usage of the word ‘deviant’, what is more important in my opinion is the intent of the user. Authors do not have the luxury of dictating how readers interpret their works but they definitely can easily explain their reasoning and justifications. As mentioned previously, the different authors’ works that Liazos analysed all did include their own personal explanations behind their…show more content…
The concept of power can be discussed in tandem with that of the previous point. Power enables one to set rules, laws and regulations which protect their own interests. This effectively enables those with power to determine what is considered to be ‘deviant’ and a ‘crime’, which are usually actions which jeopardize these interests. The power also allows them to put into place social control agents. In the context of the government, the police force is one such example. The police are expected to maintain social order in society so that the government can work towards the country’s goal without any hindrance. However, this is also a flaw in itself. With the system and control agents put into place by those with power, it also ensures that control and scrutiny is focused solely on the society and not on the system and the powerful individuals in it, therefore allowing possible cases of crime and deviance to go unpunished. There is simply no incentive for the social control agents to investigate the institution which created them in the first place. However, the picture is not all bleak. Despite the shortcomings of the system, it is still possible for the bureaucracy to operate legitimately and cleanly. Of course, this will depend heavily on human agency again. The individuals in the institution themselves would need to have strong moral standings and the desire to
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