Sample Admission Essay on Deviant Behaviors and Social Norms

Deviance denotes a violation of already established cultural and contextual societal norms. However, a precise definition of deviance causes uproar within various populaces since most individuals do not agree on what behaviors qualify as deviant behaviors. On the contrary, deviance can often be seen as a positive occurrence in the event that it brings about social change. Still, deviance envelopes wicked conduct that often falls under the category of crime (Clarke, 2007). For instance, murdering a fellow human being does not qualify as a socially deviant action since it goes against the societal norm that killing is not acceptable. Nevertheless, some standards permit the passing away of an individual, for example, the justice department allows the demise of some personages who get into deplorable criminal acts. Therefore, deviance holds some relation to crime (Bryant, 2012).

According to the November 30th article in the UK’s Mirror post, a teenage boy was found dead after getting killed by his friend whom he met while engaging in an online gaming platform. The teenage boy, Breck Bednar, met his untimely demise when a nineteen-year-old engineer known as Lewis Daynes decided to kill him. The target and the killer discerned each other from an online gaming group. When the killer Lewis Daynes, decided to kill Breck Bednar, he committed a crime, and at the same time, he went against the social norm that prohibits manslaughter. The case of Lewis signifies that crime and deviance exhibit relations since criminals always possess deviant behaviors. In the current society, murder qualifies as a deviant conduct since it violates the moral code and freedom to life. A moral code denotes a symbolic system that rates behaviors as falling under qualities such as wrong, bad, right, or good. An individual’s social identity also matters since clarifications regarding the violent offender get submitted to levels of scrutiny during the judgment of deviant behavior (Schmalleger, 2011).

Breck’s killer was previously viewed as a “control freak” by one of the victim’s friends, and he also groomed Breck to do whatever he asked of him (Best, 2014). The act of controlling a fellow human being does not meet the requirements of a deviant behavior in most circumstances, but in the case of Lewis Daynes, it qualifies. The controlling side of Lewis Daynes suggests that he was not emotionally committed to his feelings and his reasoning perception of right and wrong. And when Breck could not do what he had asked of him, he ended up slaying him. His misjudged intellectual capacity of distinguishing wrong from right in the present society makes him adeviant person since murder is universally viewed as an illegal action (Schmalleger, 2011).

After killing Bednar, Mr.Daynes posted snapshots of the victim online. As a result, the victim’s siblings found out about his demise in an unconventional manner. Neither of the victim’s parents attained the chance to explain to the other siblings the calamity that had befallen the family (Best, 2014). The act of posting the dead victim’s body online may have several reasons, but it majorly mainly seems as if Lewis was not regretful; in fact, he felt proud of his actions. When an individual violates a social custom, maintenance of social order becomes necessary. The people charged with carrying out such maintenance activities are the law enforcers. Therefore, the murderer got arrested and was also arraigned in court. The means by which rules are imposed get defined as sanctions (Clarke, 2007). Sanctions are positive when they get enacted as rewards for good deeds. On the other hand, sanctions take an adverse aspect in terms of its nature when they get enforced as customary violation rules. In the case of Lewis Daynes, a negative sanction was imposed on him for the act of murdering a fellow human being under unclear circumstances.

In the course of the enactment of the killer’s sanction process, his plea shifted from not guilty to a guilty outlook. The change portrays that he finally acknowledged the fact that he had done a wrong act and was responsible for all necessary punishments coming his way. Lewis Daynes committed a violent crime that conforms to a deviant behavior (Bryant, 2012).

An individual often holds two forms of social control, internal and external. The internal social control refers to an interpersonal character while the external control denotes the societal socialization feature. In other words, exterior social controls depend on social sanctions. Lewis Daynes does not show any form of social control, especially an internal social control (John, 2011). The custom against killing did not exist within Mr.Daynes hence he did not have an internalized social norm against killing.

Before becoming a manipulative and controlling person, Lewis was originally a well-mannered individual; then, the gaming world changed him into someone who was always against other people’s opinions. The victim’s mother had asked the police to intervene before the shocking act occurred (Best, 2014). The mother had noticed a problem with her son, and if the police had performed in time, the boy would not have died. Societal norms should have been used to arrest the action before it occurred. Deviance violates rules but with employment of sanctions, social control can get easily implemented.






Best, J. (2014, 12 2). The Mirror. Retrieved from

Bryant, C. (2012). THE HANDBOOK OF DEVIANT BEHAVIOR. UK: Taylor & Francis.

Clarke, E.  (2007). Deviant Behavior. NewYork: Worth Publishers.

Schmalleger F.& John H. (2011). Deviant Behavior. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Scott J.& Fulcher J. (2011). Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.