What It Takes to Be Deviant: Then and Now
If you were to see a person walking down the street wearing a sequenced shirt and neon parachute pants with a big fluffy afro for his hair, how would you react to it? Lets say that you were to see that here in the Philippines, in the very peaceful streets of Miag-ao to be exact. Most people would be shocked and stare at the person, some would even stop whatever it is theyre doing and ridicule the person for wearing such an outfit- calling him names such as “buki” or just plainly laugh at loud.
Personally, if I saw someone wearing that, I would honestly stop whatever it is I am doing and just look at the person- not stare, just look. I would find it interesting as to why he was wearing such an outfit but would I consider it as deviant? Perhaps yes, because who in their right mind would wear such a gaudy outfit in the mountains of Miag-ao? Im not saying that the person is insane or anything but from the three years that Ive stayed in this quiet town, people here are simple and thus they wear simple clothes- especially students who value functionality and practicality over style. But if you go back to the 60s, the 70s, or from when an outfit like that, people wont care since it was “in” during that time. By wearing that, you would be simply blending in or following fashions ever-changing trends.
What we consider deviant now may be different from the past and vice versa, simple as that. Deviance is composed of three elements: the actor, the behavior and the audience. To be labelled as deviant, the behavior committed must break a certain law or a societal norm and of course there must be a reaction by an audience- without it, the person may only be secretly deviant. The reaction from the audience varies across cultures, age, country and time. For example, some deviant acts such as committing suicide or smoking marijuana would be deviant in the Philippines since it breaks the law of the church and that of the law. But in some cultures, in Japan for example, suicide is honourable and not in any way considered