The construction of deviance
Erik Erikson argues that deviance is a social constructions, meaning criminal behavior is not something people do but an act that is defined by others — mostly those in power as deviant. A good example for his theory is the Salem witch hunt. The people who were persecuted did not commit an objective crime, they were rather outsiders who did not conform to the norms of puritan society. Their deviance was therefore bestowed on them by others.
Based on Erikson’s assumption discuss whether or not his ideas about criminal behavior are applicable to contemporary American Society? Illustrate your response by focusing on the strength and weaknesses of his theory?
Cullen, Francis T., Agnew Robert, Wilcox Pamela. (2014). Criminological Theory: Past to Present. Fifth Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press