Deviant Behavior – Essay Example

The paper "Deviant Behavior" is an excellent example of an essay on sociology.
Substance and drug abuse is a form of deviance that rooted upon the stigma on the behavior of the abuser. Stigma, an attribute or behavior that is devalued and discredited by the society, roots from labeling. The socially unacceptable behavior of abusers are seen by the society as deviant because it does not conform to the norms and standards of the society. Abusers are labeled as deviant and when they are tagged as this, especially by an authority figure such as a police or court official, they have difficulty getting out of it. The label and stigma attached to drug abuse can be explained through the labeling theory wherein the distinction and the label attached to the behavior causes the marked individual to engage more on the deviant behavior. Once a behavior is marked as deviant, the actions and responses of the people around the individual, often with prejudice and discrimination, emphasizes the deviant behavior causing the deviant individual to willingly violate the law, accept the label and behave as a deviant person or accept the deviant role but reject the social stigma that comes with it by displaying their marked behavior even more.
The differential association theory can also explain drug abuse as a deviant behavior. This theory interprets deviance as a learned interaction with other individuals within the primary group they belong to. This emphasizes the significant role of peers and the environment an individual is in encouraging deviant behavior. One does not learn how to abuse drugs alone, or if they learn how to alone, there is someone out there that has influenced the abuser on taking on the behavior. When an individual is socialized to use drugs, eventually, he has more attachment on behaving that way since he has always been exposed to the behavior. The more an individual is exposed to a deviant behavior, the longer and the more intense he is within an environment that behaves the same way, the more likely that they will be attracted and eventually influenced to behave the same way.