Deviant behavior can be split into two separate definitions and points of view. The first definition is seen as disregarding social norms, as aforementioned. The second definition has to deal with how others view the actions, beliefs, or conditions of others, deciding for themselves if these aspects can be considered deviant (Goode, 2010). For example, while committing a criminal crime such as robbery or murder is considered to be deviant, downloading music illegally, which is also a crime, is not regarded as deviant behavior as it is often accepted by other people. At the same time, it is still a crime, which is considered to be a deviant behavior under the first definition of the term.There are a variety of ways in which a person can display deviant behavior. The most common method of acting out defiantly is by committing a crime, as laws are set down to stop these kinds of behavior. When someone goes against these laws that the majority of others in the culture or society follow and reinforce, then they are acting deviantly. Along these same lines is the act of speaking about a taboo subject, such as rape, incest, or the molestation of a child. As these activities are looked down upon in most cultures and societies, to speak of them is considered to be acting in a deviant fashion, even if this is not the intention of the person being accused of this deviant action. Knowingly falsely accusing someone is another way that a person can be deviant, as well as conforming to another group’s beliefs or behaviors, which is not often viewed as a negative way of being deviant (Becker, 1993).Simply put, anybody can display deviant behavior or act out in a deviant manner, therefore being accused of deviancy, regardless of the intensity of their actions or behaviors. Deviance is not something that is always permanent or lasting, nor is it something that is uncommon, especially among teenagers and young adults — ditching a class at school can be considered deviant, though it is hardly something that causes a full-blown uproar.
Deviance as It Is