Difference Between Crime and Deviance (with Table)

Laws, punishments, society and their norms are terms that every individual is familiar with. Along with these comes thefts, murders, crimes and deviances. Crime is a term that is often come across, but are we aware of the term deviance?

Crime and deviance are two terms used for different violations of norms or laws. Based on the scenario and the severity, the violates can be termed as crime and deviance.

Crime is the violation of laws set by the constitution and the government of the country. One cannot see a change in their laws because it involves a lot of procedures and several permissions. They are controlled by the judicial system and police force.

Deviance can simply be stated as the violation of the norms, social rules and convictions. These are open to face changes and also differ from society to society.

The difference between Crime and Deviance is that while the crime is the violation of laws that are documented in the form of judicial norms, deviance is the violation of norms, social rules and convictions that are not recorded or documented.

Comparison Table between Crime and Deviance

Parameters of ComparisonCrimeDeviance
MeaningViolating the laws set by the constitution of the country.Violating the norms, social rules and convictions.
Nature of lawIs the same throughout a country or a region.Can change from society to society and can also face changes in between.
ControlAgent of control is the judicial system and police force.Agent of control is social organizations or groups.
PowerGovernment has powers to deal with or tackle the crime.Society only has coercive powers.
OffenderReceives legal sanctions depending on the severity of the crime.The offender is mortified.  
DocumentationProper documentation is available in the form of constitution.No documentation is present.
ResultAppropriate punishments according to the judicial system.Negative comments from society.

What is Crime?

Crime is a violation of the laws and regulations set by the government. They cannot be changed as they are documented under the judicial system. They are set for an entire country or kingdom.

Crime can be of two types: felonies and misdemeanours. They are categorized based on the severity of the crime committed. The more serious crimes such as rape and murder are classified as felonies. Least severe ones like theft are considered a misdemeanour.

Crime can result in the offender receiving a legal sanction and punishment as written in the constitution or the law. They are usually controlled by the judicial system and police force.

Criminology is the specific study of crimes and the individuals who commit a crime. They can help the police force in viewing a crime from the right perspective to catch the guilty.

Crime 1

What is Deviance?

Deviance is the violation of rules, social norms and convictions set by society. They also include behaviours that are not accepted by society. Since they change from society to society, it is not necessary to documentations and is open to facing more changes. This also means, if it is considered deviance in one society, it could be accepted as normal in another.

Deviances are of two types: formal and informal. Since they are also based on the severity of the deviance, they also have different punishments. Formal deviance is punishable by law while informal results in being mortified.

They can result in being cast out by society or receiving negative comments. While crimes like murder, theft are included in deviance, necessary manners like nose-picking are also included under it.

It can be noted from this that crimes and deviances can overlap.

Deviance 1

Main Differences Between Crime and Deviance

  1. The main difference between crime and deviance is the meaning. While crime is the violation of rules and laws set by the government, deviance is the violation of rules, social norms and convictions.
  2. The laws, whose violations result in a crime, cannot be changed. They cannot face any change because it is for a whole country whereas norms and rules of deviance vary from society to society. This also means that these rules and norms can be changed as well.
  3. The agent of control for these two violations are also different. While the judicial system and police force control crime rates, deviance is controlled by social organizations or groups.
  4. The power to punish for these violations is also exercised differently. Society has coercive power for controlling deviance. Government has power for dealing or tackling crimes and crime rate.
  5. The offenders are also treated differently. On committing deviance, the offenders are shunned from society and are mortified. But in the case of crime, the offender receives legal sanction depending on the severity of the crime committed.
  6. Legal documentation is seen in the case of laws and controlling of crimes. Social norms and convections do not have documentation. Since they can change from society to society, it does not require documentation.
  7. The result of the two violations is also different. While crime results in the appropriate punishment according to the judicial system, deviance results in negative comments from society.

Conclusion

Violations of rules and regulations are seen everywhere. Not all violations are called as a crime. Depending on the rule that they break, they can be classified as crime or deviance.

Crime is defined as the violation of laws set by the government for a country or kingdom. They are legally documented and controlled by the judicial system and police. They cannot be changed.

Deviance is defined as the violation of rules, social norms and convictions set by the society or complex. They are not required to be documented as they change from society to society. This also means that they are open to change.

The fact that points out their difference is on committing a crime, depending on the severity, they would have legal sanctions. In the case of deviance, this is not there. They are only faced with negative comments from society or are mortified from it.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2095859
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.so.19.080193.000553