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Kidnapping as Deviant Behavior

Major categories of deviant behavior include crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, mental disorders, suicide, murder and kidnapping. As witnessed by the rapidly increasing numbers of child abductions, kidnapping is becoming a common element of deviant behavior in American society and one that is drawing widespread media coverage. A number of sociologists from Durkheim to Becker argue that social groups manifest deviance because they make rules that if transgressed constitute deviance. There are biological, psychological and sociological theories of deviance. Biological theories of deviance would posit biological characteristics or inheritance as factors influencing the kidnapper. Psychological or psychiatric theories of deviance would figure factors of personality as contributors to kidnapping behavior, along with the belief that the individual was wrongly or inadequately developed or socialized. It is this concept of socialization and the individualÆs relationship to it that sociologists fit into their perspective on kidnapping. To the sociologist deviant behavior like kidnapping is the product of group or social definitions that label it deviant and always relative to the norms of those groups or society. For example, we all consider certain heinous acts like rape, murder, and kidnapping deviant, but this does not provide us with an understanding of why individuals who kidnap people do so. This analysis will now explore several explanations into why people who kidnap do so.

There are countless motivations for kidnapping someone in the literature. Sexual predation (rape), parental custody abduction, slavery (in many countries), profit, and homicidal intention are all causative factors that can motivate the individual to kidnap another person or persons. We can see a Durkheim effect of deviant behavior if we look at one motive for kidnappers. In one way kidnappers are able to get back control or get back at those who label th...

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Kidnapping as Deviant Behavior. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:17, August 15, 2022, from