Sociology defines deviance as a behavior that violates norms set by a society, the violation of which leads to social disapproval. Social deviance can range in severity from acts such as murder and incest to simple body modifications like tattoos, and even the smallest departure from the norm can be seen as deviance. Social deviance is also relative to the community in which it is seen, for example one society might consider driving on the right side of the road normal while it could be seen as deviant for others. So as a way to explore the topic of minor deviant behaviors, and public reaction to those behaviors, this paper will discuss the results of social experiments involving public sleeping. In most societies, sleeping is attributed to something that is normally done in one’s home or some other building like a hotel, and not out in public areas. This normalcy in sleeping location makes sleeping out in public spaces something that to some people could be considered deviant. This behavior was chosen for three different reason. First the act itself is minor, it is something that would not require the breaking of any formal laws. Second, although being a minor act, sleeping in public is not something that you see very commonly and so the general public should exhibit some sort of response to this behavior which we can then analyze. Final and most important reason is that depending on the audience public sleeping could be considered more normal, especially in population like students and even homeless people. Through analyzing the information gathered from my public experiments I will seek to explain how changing situational variables, like location and audience, ca...
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...how they respond to my action and whether or not they consider my behavior to be deviant. An example of this labeling theory could be seen if we imagine two men sleeping on a bench on a park, all other factors like time, place, audience are the same only difference is that one of the men is a business professional while the other is a homeless man. Because of that the labeling theory predict the homeless man is more likely to be negatively labeled as being deviant just because of the stigma that exist against the homeless and not the business man.
Exploring how the situational deviance theory and labeling theory apply to my experiment can help to better understand the results from the experiments. Ultimately this paper I want to be able to explore how changing the situational variable in an environment can change the responses that an audience gives to a behavior.
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