Non-Sociological Definitions of Deviance
Absolutist Definition "Deviance is that which is unnatural (or evil)."
Example:
Characterizations of same-sex marriage as contrary to "natural law" or of political leaders as "evil doers."
Statistical Definition "Deviance is the extreme part of a given statistical distribution, such as a normal curve."
Example:
Height, IQ scores, typical number of alcoholic drinks consumed on a single occasion.
Medical Definition "Deviance is that which is pathological (or abnormal)."
Example:
Early conceptions of urban social problems and deviance as symptoms of "social pathology." More recent trend toward the "medicalization" of a variety of forms of troublesome behavior ("alcoholism," ADHD).
Legal Definition "Deviance is that which is illegal."
Example:
Criminological argument that the study of deviance should be limited to law-violating behavior.