For example, “children in a step family have to form new relationships and accept new rules and new values, while still having to deal with the old relationships, rules and values” (Berns 110).
Edwin Lemert developed the theory that deviance can either be primary or secondary. According to him, “primary deviation is deviance that everyone engages in occasionally; it is rationalized or otherwise dealt with as [part of] a socially acceptable role” (Regoli, Hewitt, and DeLisi 225). An example of primary deviation is theft of a textbook from a book store by a college student, who goes unnoticed, uses the book to study, attains high marks on graduation and proceeds to become a prominent person in life.
Secondary deviation on the other hand is a stage reached when individuals, especially adolescents, commit more deviant acts. For individuals to reach secondary deviation, the stages involved include primary deviation, social penalties, further primary deviation, stronger penalties and rejection, further deviations, attainment of a crisis “in the tolerance quotient, which is expressed in formal action by the community stigmatizing of the deviant” (Regoli, Hewitt, and DeLisi 226), reinforcement of deviant behaviour, as response to punishment and stigmatization, and acknowledgement of deviant character and status in society. An example of secondary deviation is constant theft of textbooks from a bookstore by a college student, who eventually gets caught, gets expelled from college, earns a label of being a person lacking character from other people in the society, consequently begins viewing himself as the society views him, becomes a drug dealer and when caught, spends the rest of his life in prison.
According to Surratt, “medicalization is the defining and labelling of deviant behaviour as a medical problem, usually an illness and the mandating of the medical profession to provide some type of