Just Sociology

Exploring Tertiary Deviance: Redefining Deviant Labels in a Positive Light

The concept of deviance has been studied and debated by social scientists for many years. Deviance is an act or behavior that is contrary to social norms and values.

Sociologists differentiate between three types of deviance: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary and secondary deviance are relatively well-known and have been explored in depth.

However, tertiary deviance is a more recent addition to the literature and warrants closer examination. In this article, we will discuss tertiary deviance, including its definition and concept, examples and effects, as well as its relationship to primary and secondary deviance.

Tertiary Deviance

Definition and Concept

Tertiary deviance is defined as the positive phenomenon in which individuals or groups accept the deviant label that has been imposed upon them and redefine it in a positive manner. It involves the deliberate rejection of conventional values and norms, and the creation of a new social identity that is based on positive aspects of the deviant label.

Tertiary deviance is a self-affirming process that challenges and subverts the negative identity that is associated with deviance. Tertiary deviance is a concept that is most often associated with labeling theorists.

They argue that deviance is not an inherent characteristic of an individual, but rather a societal perception that is imposed upon them. The label of deviant that an individual receives can have a significant impact on their self-image, social identity, and behavior.

Tertiary deviance, therefore, is a response to the negative identity that is associated with deviant labels. It is a way for individuals to reject, resist, and reframe the label that has been imposed upon them.

Examples and Effects

Tertiary deviance can be seen in many social movements, including the gay rights movement, the feminist movement, and the civil rights movement. These movements have all challenged and subverted negative identities that were associated with certain groups, and redefined them in a positive light.

For example, the term “queer” was once a derogatory term used to describe homosexuals, but is now a positive term used by members of the LGBTQ+ community to describe themselves. Tertiary deviance can also be seen in the academic context, such as cheating.

Cheating is considered a deviant behavior in academia, and individuals who are caught cheating may be labeled as deviants. However, some students may reject this label and reframe cheating as a necessary means to an end.

They may argue that the education system is flawed and unfair, and that cheating is a way to level the playing field. By doing so, they reject the negative identity associated with deviant behavior and create a positive self-identity based on their own values and beliefs.

The effects of tertiary deviance can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, it can be a positive phenomenon that empowers individuals and groups to challenge negative labels and create a positive identity based on their own values and beliefs.

It can promote individualism, creativity, and critical thinking. On the other hand, it can also be a negative phenomenon that promotes deviant behavior and undermines social norms and values.

It can lead to social isolation, marginalization, and conflict with mainstream society.

Primary and Secondary Deviance

Definition and Origin

Primary deviance refers to a deviant behavior or act that is committed by an individual. It is often considered a normal part of human behavior, and the individual may not necessarily see themselves as deviant.

It is only when the behavior is labeled as deviant by society that the individual may begin to internalize the label and see themselves as deviant. Secondary deviance, on the other hand, refers to the deviant behavior or identity that results from societal reactions to primary deviance.

It occurs when the individual accepts the deviant label and begins to see themselves as deviant. This can lead to a negative self-image, social isolation, and a perpetuation of the deviant behavior.

The concept of primary and secondary deviance was first introduced by Edwin Lemert in 1951. He argued that deviant behavior was a normal part of human behavior, and that it was only when the behavior was labeled as deviant by society that the individual may begin to internalize the label and see themselves as deviant.

Elaboration and Evidence

The theory of primary and secondary deviance has been supported by many empirical studies. For example, a study conducted by Richard Wright and Scott Decker in 1994 found that labeling by law enforcement had a significant effect on the development of a deviant identity among delinquent youths.

The youths who were labeled as deviant by law enforcement were more likely to see themselves as deviant, and engage in further deviant behavior. Another study conducted by Robert Agnew in 1992 found that the stigma associated with deviant labels could lead to social isolation and exclusion, which in turn could lead to further deviant behavior.

In this study, Agnew argued that the social strain caused by the stigma of deviant labels could lead to negative coping strategies such as drug use, theft, and prostitution. Conclusion:

In conclusion, deviance is a complex phenomenon that involves the violation of social norms and values.

Sociologists differentiate between three types of deviance: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Tertiary deviance is a positive phenomenon in which individuals or groups accept the deviant label that has been imposed upon them and redefine it in a positive manner.

Primary and secondary deviance, on the other hand, refer to the initial deviant behavior or act and the subsequent deviant behavior or identity that results from societal reactions to the initial behavior. The concept of primary and secondary deviance has been supported by many empirical studies, and has had a significant impact on our understanding of deviance and the labeling process.

Expansion:

Social Movements

Definition and Example

Social movements are organized efforts by groups of people who seek to bring about social or political change. They are often motivated by a desire to challenge and change the prevailing norms, values, or power structures that are perceived to be unjust or oppressive.

A social movement may be focused on a specific issue, such as civil rights or climate change, or it may be broader in scope, such as the feminist or LGBTQ+ movement. One well-known example of a social movement is the gay rights movement.

It was started in the 1960s by members of the LGBTQ+ community who sought social acceptance and legal changes. At that time, homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior and was illegal in many states in the US.

The gay rights movement sought to challenge these negative perceptions and push for greater acceptance of homosexuality as a natural and legitimate expression of human sexuality. The movement was successful in achieving many of its goals, including the legalization of homosexuality in many states and the recognition of same-sex marriage.

This has led to a greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and a reduction in the stigmatization and discrimination they face.

Effects and Implications

Social movements can have far-reaching effects and implications for society. They can challenge prevailing power structures, promote social change, and create new norms and values.

They can also raise awareness of social and political issues and create a sense of collective identity and solidarity among members of a particular group. One of the primary effects of social movements is the reduction of stigma and oppression.

In the case of the gay rights movement, the negative perceptions of homosexuality were challenged and changed through the efforts of activists and supporters. This led to greater social acceptance and legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals.

Social movements can also have implications for broader societal change. They can challenge the status quo and push for policy changes or reforms that promote greater social justice and equity.

This can lead to a more inclusive and diverse society that values the rights and well-being of all its members. However, social movements can also face opposition and resistance from those who wish to maintain the prevailing power structures and values.

This can lead to counter-movements or backlash, which seek to limit or undermine the progress that has been made.

Cheating

Case and Justification

Cheating is a form of deviant behavior that involves the violation of academic or professional norms and values. It can take many forms, including plagiarism, fabrication, or cheating on exams.

Cheating is often motivated by a desire to achieve a certain outcome or goal, such as getting a good grade or passing a test. An example of cheating is the use of a cheat sheet during a multiple-choice test.

This may be justified by the belief that the test is unfair or that the time restriction is too demanding. The individual may see cheating as a necessary means to an end, in order to achieve a desired grade or outcome.

However, cheating can have serious consequences, both for the individual and for the broader society. It undermines the integrity of academic or professional standards and values, and can lead to a loss of trust and confidence in the system.

Application and Relevance

The phenomenon of cheating raises important questions about intentional action and wayward causal chains. Intentional action is the idea that individuals are responsible for their actions and can be held accountable for them.

However, wayward causal chains suggest that individual actions can be influenced or constrained by a range of social or environmental factors. In the case of cheating, an individual’s decision to cheat may be influenced by a range of factors, including the perceived fairness of the test, the pressure to perform well, or the sense of competition with other students.

These factors may be beyond the control of the individual, and may contribute to a wayward causal chain that leads to the decision to cheat. Furthermore, tertiary waywardness suggests that the effects of cheating can have broader societal implications.

This can include the loss of trust in educational or professional institutions, and the perpetuation of a culture of cheating and dishonesty. It can also lead to stigmatization and exclusion of individuals who are labeled as cheaters, which can have long-term negative effects on their social and professional identity.

In conclusion, social movements and cheating are two examples of deviant behavior that raise important questions about social norms, values, and power structures. The effects of these phenomena can be far-reaching and have implications for individual and collective identity, societal change, and political and economic structures.

Understanding these phenomena and their implications can promote greater social justice and equity, and contribute to a more inclusive and diverse society. In conclusion, this article has explored the complex issues surrounding deviant behavior, social movements, and cheating.

We have discussed the three types of deviance, including primary, secondary, and tertiary, and how they are related. We have also examined the impact of social movements on society, including their potential to challenge and change the prevailing norms, values, and power structures.

Finally, we have discussed the phenomenon of cheating and its implications for academic and professional standards and values. Through this discussion, we hope to promote a greater understanding of these important topics and their relevance to contemporary society.

FAQs:

Q: What is tertiary deviance? A: Tertiary deviance is the positive phenomenon in which individuals or groups accept the deviant label that has been imposed upon them and redefine it in a positive manner.

Q: What is the impact of social movements on society? A: Social movements can challenge and change the prevailing norms, values, and power structures, and promote greater social justice and equity.

Q: What is cheating and why is it a problem? A: Cheating is a form of deviant behavior that undermines the integrity of academic or professional standards and values, and can lead to a loss of trust and confidence in the system.

Q: What are primary and secondary deviance? A: Primary deviance refers to the initial deviant behavior or act, while secondary deviance refers to the subsequent deviant behavior or identity that results from societal reactions to the initial behavior.

Q: What is intentional action? A: Intentional action is the idea that individuals are responsible for their actions and can be held accountable for them.

Q: What is wayward causal chains? A: Wayward causal chains suggest that individual actions can be influenced or constrained by a range of social or environmental factors.

Q: What is tertiary waywardness? A: Tertiary waywardness suggests that the effects of deviant behavior, like cheating, can have broader societal implications beyond the individual.

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