Defining crime and deviance


Interactionist definition of crime and deviance

Interactionist sociologists are critical of the funcionalist definition of deviance, as it implies that such definitions are fixed, absolute and universally shared. They argue that definitions of normality and deviance are a social construction.

This means that the same thing, or act, can be interpreted in different ways. Deviance is therefore relative and will depend on factors such as a person's individual point of view, place of living and time-period, culture and the social context in which the activity occurs.

The interactionist approach rejects the idea that modern societies are organized around a consensus of values and


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