The Nature of Deviance

  • Stuart Palmer
  • John A. Humphrey


There is great diversity of deviant behavior ranging from crime, mental illness, and suicide to minor rule breaking in school or at home, to excessive behaviors such as overeating and overdrinking, to such positive forms as invention. Deviance implies nonconformity, doing things differently from the everyday routines. This makes the study of deviance intrinsically interesting to most people. But deviance is also a highly useful field of study. It helps us to better understand the nature of conformity and of human social life in general, since all human behavior is, after all, in varying degrees, either conforming or deyiant. Further, the analysis of deviance helps us to understand the nature of social change. Without deviance there would be little change, and without change societies atrophy and die out.


Social Control Latent Function Deviant Behavior Mental Hospital Moral Code 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Palmer
    • 1
  • John A. Humphrey
    • 2
  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaGreensboroUSA

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