I will start off my research by saying you must know what deviance means and how to identify what represents deviant behavior. Deviance can be labeled such as, ones attitudes, behaviors, and conditions (Adler& Adler, 2012) Deviance also the desecration of a social norm (Goode, 2001). You ask yourself what is a social norm and how can I understand it. Social norms are the rules of behavior that are considered acceptable in a group or society. People who do not follow these norms may be shunned or suffer some kind of consequence (Princeton, 2012). There are a couple of Norm Violations that are listed such as a person singing loudly on a public bus, while they riding on the subway, and last one would be riding the train. Deviance is also important to understand what increases rates of deviance that society produces (Goddard, 1979). As I noted above that there are negative norm violations and boundaries in society. The following paper will be observations of different parks by different ages and genders.
While I am observing at the park I am going to look at different people from different backgrounds such as who misbehaves the most, what age seemed to do the most bullying, and how many ignored their children when they started the fights with other children at the parks. The most deviant act I seen the most when I was observing, were children shoving other children to get on the sliding board. On several events, the children range from ages four to six were always running around pushing the little girls to get out of there way when they wanted to either slide down the sliding board or either push the merry go round. What I seen was a little disturbing was some parents were on their cell phones and wasn’t pay no mind to their children. The parents body language was clear that they didn’t want to be there for example, when one child ran to his mom she put a finger up wanting him to wait until she had got off the phone then she will deal with what he has to say. While observing in my car I had notice a little girl standing by herself watching the other children smiling but would not go over there to play with the other children.
Her mom would ask her to go play but she would refuse by shaking her head no and folding her arms. While observing what was going on at the park I noticed that majority of the male children from ages nine to ten would play with their gender only. On a few occasions, you would see some children being bossy to the other children they were playing with. I seen some parents playing with their children such as running around but only a few would either be reading a book or just on their cell phone. However, I did notice that mostly the men were either sitting on the bench or browsing on their cell phones. I believe that the park displayed a lot of acts of deviance by some of the parents and the children while attending the park. There was one particular little boy who decided to walk over and play with some children on the sliding board but, as he was playing he got angry that he couldn’t keep going first so he decided to push one of the little girls down the sliding board.
The act that he displayed was a behavior act that could have been avoided if a parent were watching what was going on while the children played on the sliding board. The park was full of dirt so the children couldn’t keep their clothes clean if they tried because when they fell down they got their clothes dirty with lots of stains on them. I believed that the children being bullies to the other children should have been watched more careful because the acts of deviance would not have occurred. I rode to another park to see if the same deviance acts would occur and if so how well was it being handled. As I arrive to the park I sat in my car and observed a lot of deviance acts which I was not surprised because of this park having more children running around such as, playing on the seesaw, swings, merry go round, and playing in the dirt. I had a boy playing on a skateboard for approximately twenty minutes then fell off of the skateboard.
One of the children playing noticed the guy falling off his skateboard kept going on and laughing and point at him. A deviant act that I observed two Lesbianism that a couple couldn’t stop doing was staring, pointing, and shaking their heads like it was so disgusting to them. According to (Lenskyj 1191) she expressed that making lesbianism a private issue does not confront or challenge the underlying homophobia that does allow to carry out a significance. I noticed that there were more females attending the park than males on different occasions that I attended the park. What I observed was on a particular instance was there were several people out there with a few tattoos on their body and some with piercings on the nose and ear.
There was one tattoo that caught my eye was on the beneath the individuals eye. That particular guy drew my attention because it stood out with different colors on his face. This piercing is something that you would not normally see a lot of people where every day on their face. An example of a body modification was a teenage girl wearing pink and black hair with the style in pinned up in a Mohawk. Everyone stared at the teenage girl especially this one particular man who kept shaking his head and expressing to another parent that if he came home as a teenager home with a different color in his hair his tail would be that color.
To the man’s even point of view the different style of hair and color is a sign of deviant behavior that she was observing. While doing my observations I noticed that the teenager could care less what people were thinking of her because she was going to flaunt her hairstyle or whatever she wears and doesn’t care what others think about her by continuing doing what she was doing and that was taking pictures of herself while her brother played on the sliding board. Another act of deviance act I was able to observe was some children stayed putting their fingers in their mouth and not one parent seem to act as though this was a deviant behavior that they were displaying. According to (Horton, 1971) a social norm is based on etiquette also. There was one particular cultural that I observed throwing dirt and laughing out loud at every handful that he threw at the children and at his parents were young Vietnamese child. His family was rambunctious about one’s child’s mother kept asking his parents if they can make him stop thrpwing dirt on other children.
The dad of the Vietnamese child remained calm but however; the mom wasn’t so calm she had gotten angry and demonstrated that she was belligerent about someone telling her that she needs to control her child by fussing out loud and pointing and waving her hand. This act of deviance that the parent had demonstrated was socially constructed. The other parents just watched by viewing the parent that her actions were displayed as being deviant and offensive by not controlling her child and accepting that his actions were acceptable by the mom. On a website that I had read it stated that Vietnamese parents are very obsessive about their children. Although different cultures dictate the norms in society, they know what is right and what is wrong so they can decide for themselves how they need to be formed (Strauss, 1977). I did not notice any fathers disciplining their children while that were at the park. I believe that the mothers at the park had the control somewhat how their child behaved and that produced a particular act of deviance.
Another cultural difference I observed was there were about five Mexican children that only played with their cultural and no other children. When other children decided to come over there and play they stopped and went over to where their parents were standing. This reflected on cultural variations by playing with their cultural and no other ones. There were several teenagers I observed dancing with their headphones on and singing loud but, when someone looked at them they got an attitude by staring hard at the one looking at them. I found it very interesting that the actions that were being betrayed by one another when someone looked at them or if a child acted out the parents would catch attitudes. The perspective may been structural why the parents acted so deviantly towards another.
According to (Horowitz, 1991) Structural perspective when someone retaliates on another by choosing deviant acts. I found what was fascinating that when one child at the park ran around or decided to slide down the sliding board another child would follow until they either got tired or their parents called for them to go home. I observed that deviance acts were identified as boys displayed the deviance acts versus the girls at the park. The reflection of the deviance acts were noticeable and some were controlled but, the majority were out of the ordinary by the parents just letting them do what they wanted to while they were either reading a book or just having some time for themselves. One child appeared to be hyperactive by displaying an agitated attitude and attention seeking that had got a couple of children upset when he came fidgety and pushing other children to get on the sliding board first.
Obviously by the commotion of the children yelling move out the way became annoyed by some other parents by looking exasperated at the other parents not disciplining their children in a public place out in the community with other families being there. I have observed that deviant behaviors are significantly different from behavior that is commonly expected in older children because of their age groups. Some children remedy deviant acts by developing their own culture such as, who is their role models, values, personality traits from the surroundings around them (Becker, 1979). Of all the deviant acts that was observed the most that occurred numerous occasions were being repeated repetitious were children ignoring other children at times and doing other different activities by themselves instead of interacting with other children.
The less deviant act that I observed were the reactions that the parents were given their children when they were acting out. Some people at the park were walking their dog and children kept running over to see the dog and some ran to their parents because of them being scared of the pet. I noticed that a handful of parents told their children to get away from the dog because the dog could have bitten them but however; you had one particular child who wanted to try and kick the dog. That child may have never been introduced about what dogs can do to people that they don’t know. A child may have learned what is wrong and have never been explained how to behave in any given circumstances whether it be at home or in a community (Oliver, 1996). This makes since because younger children act out between the ages of two to five more often than children over ten years old. I believe just by looking at the parents interacting with the children a lot of the children were thriving for attention from their parents or from another child.
On a few occasions I would observe a child just sitting there and looking around until their parent told them to go and play with the other children or they were going home. One particular afternoon I did observe and a teenager that have to be approximately around the age of sixteen who had a young child with her. A little girl kept walking over there to see the baby and asking her if that was her baby and her respond was “yes”. I analyzed that there were not any children under the age of thirteen pregnant there at the park. The independent variable that I observed while I was at the park was no matter how young, age, or height that all had something going on at the park. One child kept taunting another child when the child would not go down the sliding board. This is a normal norm because of the chastising for no apparent reason. In today’s society the younger children act out what they have seen or have been taught. To the other children this one particular child made them feel threatening by him picking with the other children.
There were no teenagers drinking alcohol which was a plus for the younger children. I observed that there were four fights that had occurred while the children were playing on the merry go round and the swings. A deviant act that was committed was when a child tried to push another child out the swing because he wanted to see in that particular swing and the other child would not get out of it. I can say that most deviant acts were committed by
children from the age’s four to seven. Not one child walked over to another parent and disrespected them in any way that was not normal. One child was observed trying to take another child’s toy that he brought home from his home which was a red racing car. The act of stealing was a dependable variable that I observed as a deviant act. In summation, I was able to observe children from the ages two through the age of sixteen and the cultural and ethnic backgrounds at the park.
The park proved to be a brilliant place to make my observations to gain insight on how children and parents act at a park. It was very interesting to see how different parents acted when their child tried to get their attention, or how children played with other children while they were sliding down the sliding board, swings, and the merry go round. Some children were able to play with other children even if their cultural norms were different and how they were raised to act in the community. When I didn’t see other deviant acts other parents seen them in other children but however; did not say anything and just act like it was unnoticed to other parents.
This experience going to the park and observing how well children act with other children allowed me to understand that different people raise their children to play with other children respectably and how some just didn’t care what their children done as long as they were getting some personal time for themselves they didn’t care how the child acted in the community. I fully understand to appreciate deviance and how different household raise their children from person to person and the age groups.
Humphrey, J. (2012). Deviant behavior (2.nd Ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning Prinstein, M. (2008). Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford Press. Kauffman, J., & Landrum, T. (2009). Characteristics of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth (9th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill. Ahmed, E. (2005, December 1). Forgiveness, Shaming, Shame and Bullying. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. Most Teens who get off to a Poor Start Don’t Easily Grow out of It, Study Indicates. (2013, March 27). States News Service. Retrieved October 12, 2014, from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-323981392.html?
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Topic: Observing Deviance at the Park
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