Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vaughan, Diane: The Normalization of Deviance
Ronald C. Kramer
Sociologist Diane Vaughan has developed an empirically grounded theoretical argument that many unlawful or deviant organizational actions can best be understood as the result of a social process she calls the normalization of deviance . The normalization of deviance occurs when actors in an organizational setting, such as a corporation or a government agency, come to define their deviant acts as normal and acceptable because they fit with and conform to the cultural norms of the organization within which they work. Even though their actions may violate some outside legal or social standard and be labeled as criminal or deviant by people outside the organization, organizational offenders do not see these actions as wrong because they are conforming to the cultural mandates that exist within the workgroup culture and environment where they carry out their occupational roles. Vaughan's concept of the normalization of deviance makes several important contributions to criminological ...