Positive Deviance Essay

Cheap Custom Writing Service

This Positive Deviance Essay example is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services. EssayEmpire.com offers reliable custom essay writing services that can help you to receive high grades and impress your professors with the quality of each essay or research paper you hand in.

Dodge (1985: 17) formally introduced positive deviance into the sociology of deviant behavior to broaden the field beyond simply negative deviance – the ”offensive, disgusting, contemptible, annoying or threatening.” Sagarin (1985) immediately contested the term, calling it an oxymoron, initiating a ”fiery debate” over the concept’s viability, leading to ”at least nine different ways” in which the term was portrayed (West 2003).

The key issues centre on positive deviance’s normative and reactivist dimensions. If conforming to normative expectations is a continuum of social behavior, then negative (under-conformity) and positive (over-conformity) deviance are the outliers. For Dodge (1985: 18) positive deviance encompassed ”those persons and acts that are evaluated as superior because they surpass conventional expectations.”

In reactivist terms, under-conformist behavior receiving reactions of condemnation (e.g. theft, terrorism) is negative deviance while the same action gaining supportive responses (e.g. theft by Robin Hood, liberationist struggle) connotes positive deviance.

Positive deviance also described over-commitment to positively valued behaviors resulting in negatively perceived practices (e.g. fully committed to athletic training – using steroids, striving for a svelte body – turning to bulimia).

Sagarin (1985: 169) was also concerned that positive deviance collapsed together two ends of a continuum with ”nothing in common” and would so broaden studies of deviance that they would lose coherence and specific focus. Others countered that even when studies in deviance stay with traditional issues, positive deviance (over-conformity and/or positive reactivist) provides a necessary interrelated, analytic counter-point that sheds critical light on negative deviance.

Bibliography:

  1. Dodge, D. L. (1985) The over-negativized conceptualization of deviance:   a  programmatic exploration. Deviant Behavior (6): 17-37.
  2. Sagarin, E. (1985) Positive deviance: an oxymoron. Deviant Behavior 6: 169-81.
  3. West, B. (2003) Synergies in deviance: revisiting the positive deviance debate. Online: Electronic Journal of Sociology.

See also:

ORDER HIGH QUALITY CUSTOM PAPER


Always on-time

Plagiarism-Free

100% Confidentiality
Special offer! Get discount 10% for the first order. Promo code: cd1a428655