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Difference between Deviance and Crime

Difference between Deviance and Crime

Though the terms “deviance” and “crime” are often used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between deviance and crime, and discuss why it is important to understand the distinction. We will also look at some examples of deviant vs. criminal behavior. So, what is the difference between deviance and crime? Read on to find out!

What is Deviance?

Deviance is a term that sociologists use to refer to any behavior that violates the norms of a culture. Deviant behavior can range from something as simple as not following dress code rules to more serious offenses like robbery or murder. Deviance is often seen as negative, but it can also be positive. For example, breaking the law to protest an unjust law is considered deviant behavior by many people. While deviance can have harmful consequences, it can also be a way for people to express their dissatisfaction with the status quo and challenge unfair social norms. Deviance, then, is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon.

What is Crime?

  • Crime is a broad term that can refer to many different types of criminal activity. In general, crime is any act that goes against the law. This can include everything from minor infractions, like jaywalking, to serious offenses, like murder. Crime can also be classified in other ways, such as property crime and violent crime.
  • Property crimes are those that involve the theft or damage of personal property, while violent crimes are those that involve physical violence against another person. Regardless of how it is classified, crime is a serious issue that has many negative consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Crime can lead to physical and emotional harm, financial loss, and even death. It can also damage relationships and create mistrust between people. In some cases, it can even lead to social unrest and violence. Crime is a complex issue with many causes and effects. It is an important issue to consider when trying to make the world a safer place for everyone.

Difference between Deviance and Crime

Deviance is any behavior that violates social norms, while crime is an act that violates a law. So, all crimes are deviant behaviors, but not all deviant behaviors are crimes. Deviance can be minor and not punishable by law, like talking loudly in a library. Or it can be major and result in arrest, like robbing a bank. Most deviant behavior is not criminal.

  • For example, choosing to live together before marriage or wearing gothic clothing does not violate any laws. People often think of deviance and crime as being the same thing because they both violate social norms.
  • But crime is much more serious than deviance because it results in punishment by the law. Deviance is often seen as morally wrong, but not necessarily legally wrong. Crime, on the other hand, is definitely illegal.
  • Deviance can be either active or passive. An active deviant consciously breaks social norms, while a passive deviant doesn’t realize they’re breaking social norms. For example, a gothic person may actively choose to dress in a way that breaks social norms of clothing style, whereas someone who arrives at a formal event wearing jeans has likely not consciously chosen to break the social norm of appropriate event attire.

Deviance often has a negative connotation because it goes against what is considered normal behavior. But some people see Deviance as positive because it challenges societal norms and expectations. Crime always has a negative connotation because it is against the law and can result in punishment.


Deviance refers to any behavior that violates social norms, while crime refers to actions that are punishable by law. There are many different types of deviant behaviors, from minor infractions like jaywalking to more serious offenses like murder. The majority of people who engage in deviant behavior will never commit a crime, but there is always the potential for criminal activity to occur. It’s important to understand the distinction between these two concepts so that you can take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm.

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