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Do All Deviant Acts Violate Criminal Laws?

Updated on July 10, 2014

Deviant acts are not always criminal in nature; however, they all have one thing in common and that is the violation or departure from social norms. And while all deviance is not criminal, all criminal acts are deviant.

For example, if a person cheats on an exam, the act does violate our social norms but it does not mean the cheater has committed a crime. The person will not be arrested for the act. However, cheating is a wrong act in society’s eyes. We all know it is wrong to cheat.

Likewise, we all know it is wrong to lie even if it is a little or white lie. Lying to your boss is an act of deviance. The act may not get you arrested but it can get you fired. And so can taking things from your job, even little things.

Employees that take pens, paper clips, and office supplies from work while the act is not criminal, it is wrong. It is still stealing and that is an act of deviance. Plagiarism is another defiant act. Although, plagiarism may not be criminal, depending on what is being plagiarized the act can bring the plagiarizer to court.


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