Difference Between Crime and Deviance

Laws, punishments, society and their norms are terms that every individual is familiar with. Along with these comes thefts, murders, crimes and deviances.


Law Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to law

1 / 10

What type of law deals with relationships between individuals and society?

2 / 10

A contract is considered _____ when given through mistake, violence intimidation, undue influence or fraud.

3 / 10

An offer made through _________ is accepted from the time acceptance is communicated to him

4 / 10

A sells, by auction, to B a horse that A knows to be unsound. A says nothing to B about the horse's unsoundness. A does

5 / 10

_______ is a rule of conduct, just, obligatory, and laid down by a legitimate power.

6 / 10

What is the term for a wrongful act committed by one person that causes harm to another person for which the injured party can seek compensation?

7 / 10

The correct sequence in the formation of a contract is

8 / 10

The headquarters of UNESCO is at

9 / 10

What is the name of the amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees the right to bear arms?

10 / 10

A agrees to buy from B a certain house. It turns out that the house was dead at the time of bargain, through neither party was aware of the fact. The agreement

Your score is


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 vs Deviance

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.

Crime vs 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.

Comparison Table

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.


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.


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.
Difference Between Crime and Deviance


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

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️