Deviant Behavior

A cross-cultural perspective on deviant behavior would show that there are certain actions which are deemed acceptable in one society but is considered as a deviant behavior in others. For example, in societies where the primary religion is Hindu, they prohibit people to kill or slaughter the cows, or more specifically the zebu (Schaefer, 2008). The cows are even allowed to feed on fruits in the market while other people have to feed on the small quantity of food left (Schaefer, 2008).

Religious factors serve as the primary reason why the cows are treated in such a manner. From a functionalist perspective, the worship of cows is considered as an important part of the Hindu society and the purpose it serves the people when it comes to producing milk and agricultural purposes is very important to them (Schaefer, 2008). Other religions in other parts of the world do not have as high regard for the cows as the Hindus do that leads to a difference in the treatment of cows for the other societies.

Likewise, the value of cows as food for the other countries plays a vital role on whether it is to be eaten or not. The perception of people with regard to the severity of the crime committed would have to depend on the reputation of the person and the nature of the crime done. There are certain stereotypes that every society holds vis-a-vis the role that the offender holds in a particular community. For example, a highly-respected person is suspected for the killing of a common person in the community.

This would either create disbelief or condemnation of the person where people may either defend the person in belief that he/she could not do it or would express their utter disgrace for what he has done. On the other hand, on the other hand, if the killers were of less influence in the society, this would not be given particular attention especially by the media. However, as what happened in the novel “In cold blood” by Truman Capote, the status of those who were killed also affect the perception of people of the crime.


Schaefer, R. (2008). Sociology. (7th Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.