Application of Deviance

Page by Sarah Dye

The study of deviance, even tough it is primarily a sub-field of sociology, has had an effect on forensic psychology.  Numerous theories have been developed in an effort to understand and explain why people are seen as or act as a deviant.  These theories can be applied to understanding the criminal mind, as criminals are deviants.  This application is what connects forensics to sociology. Another use for sociologist’s studying of deviance is the applying of data to target profiling. Many programs with in the FBI utilize target profiling to identify people that are more likely to be a potential suspect or security risk.

There are many psychological theories that can be discussed-

  • Syndrome E
  • Social Control Theory
  • Labeling Theory
  • Military Theory
  • Anomie Theory
  • Differential Association Theory

These above theories all have roots in sociology and an application to the field forensic psychology. Because there are so many theories I will only be exploring the history of the labeling theory.


Cunningham, D., & Browning, B. (2004, September). The Emergence of Worthy Targets: Official Frames and Deviance Narratives within the FBI. Sociological Forum , pp. 347-369.

Sr., C. S. (2009, November 16). Socio-Criminology. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from The Relationship Between Sociology & Criminology:

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