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Is Social Deviance A Disorder?

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Social deviance is person who breaks the social norms, culture, rules, laws, way people do things and of how a individual will act in society. There is lack of conformity to the group and deviance of inappropriate conduct of social norms and culture of the group norms.


Some examples of social deviance like skipping school, running away from home, going out partying, speeding, drinking in public,  being late for work, dying your hair purple, having a mohawk hair,  stealing,  wearing pajama pants to work, going nude,  long scraggly messy hair style, not working, cheating, indiscriminate sexual partners, disheveled appearance in look and dress, theft, breaking parking rules/ traffic rules so on.

What causes social deviance a lack of social skills growing up? Bad parenting? Pear pressure?  Bad childhood experiences? Problems with school or work? Problems with people or friends?


An abnormal brain development or chemical imbalance? Is it a disorder?

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Many of your examples for the 'out of the norm' behaviors were illegal, but not all. There is, and should be a large distinction between the two. In my opinion, and it's only an opinion, there are several reasons for social deviance. Some exclusively for the illegal and others just to stand apart from the norm.



The deviants going the illegal route may believe they are smarter than everyone else and their ego makes them think some of the rules don't or shouldn't apply to them. As with the deviants who are different and law abiding they are mostly looking for attention, an opportunity to stand out and be noticed. The illegal ones also do these things for a plethora of reasons aside from public attention.


I am by no means knowledgeable enough to let you know what the most common reasons are, but many of the causes you mentioned above seem plausible.



The deviants going the legal route are in some cases looking for attention as well, but I don't believe that for all cases.


I read an article years ago about a man who described his experience growing up with the very eccentric mother of his best friend. The woman would often climb out the window and on to her roof to watch the stars or a sunset, she used to mow her grass at 2am because it was the coolest part of the day in the summer. One day he described how he and his friends were climbing a huge tree when they were very young. They were way higher than kids that age should have been climbing and any parent seeing this would definitely go off the deep end and severely scold them. When they saw a car coming up the road the kids thought they were in big trouble, but as it turned out it was this woman. After seeing the kids so high up she got out of the car to talk to them. The woman's only comment was an encouraging comment of "wow look how high you guys have made it". She then got back in her car and drove away. The only comment from all the boys in the tree was "wow".


This woman was well aware that other parents thought she was nut case, but she didn't give a rats ***. She did the things she wanted to do, how and when she wanted to do them and didn't let peer pressure or her lack conformity bother her in the least.


So there are people out there that fall outside the normal mold from the majority role that most adults fall into, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. In fact in my opinion, to meet someone like that is a breath of fresh air. It seems to me our society gets closer and closer to acting like a bunch of clones. The current way our society is set up it fosters common conformity. Individuality and to some degree humanity seem to slip farther and farther away.

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Thank you, deepwater, for tackling the one issue Parker had left in my mind.  And the beautiful story of the woman who feared not to live her own life as she pleased without interfering with how others lived.  A loner is a deviant.  Yet it takes a loner to write some of the best literature, paint some of the best pictures, carve the best statues and solve the greatest problems.   Some of our greatest scientists were considered deviant by their peers and often by adults in their lives.  Today we speak of them with admiration.


So, not all deviancy is bad.  The answer to Parker's last question makes the distinction.  Perhaps only when it disrupts the smooth workings of society in general.  Someone once defined freedom as "the right to do as you please so long as you don't interfere with the rights of others."  Makes sense to me.


Q.  Why is purple hair on a teenager wrong but blue hair on an elderly woman acceptable?

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