Cops TV Show & Deviance – James Hyman

Deviance is anything that violates the social norm. I believe that there is so much deviance shown on television because that is what people want to see. People don’t want to see good people doing bad things. Just like in the media, people would rather see bad things so they have something to challenge and can speak their minds on those issues whereas showing good things on television doesn’t spark the same response. When watching shows on television that display deviance, most shows make me feel superior to what is being shown. They make me feel superior because most times I am better than them in the actions they display. Another great example completely different from the television show Cops that shows a ton of deviance is Jersey Shore. Jersey shore has examples of assaults, public intoxication, public indecency, sleeping with random people and fighting along with other things that happen in the course of that show.

The show I chose to talk about that shows deviance is Cops. This show has been aired on Fox since 1989 and is a pretty popular show. This television show follows police officers with camera crews while they prosecute people in various cities around the United States. The intended audience for this show is anyone who is into reality television, likes this type of show or is into people getting busted. I chose this show because I watch it from time to time and it displays a lot of deviance. The types of deviance you see in this show includes petty crimes such as shoplifting, disorder in public, public intoxication to more serious crimes like drunk driving, drug busts, car chases and robberies. There is also some violent crimes featured on this show such as manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and first, second or third degree murders. All of these crimes deviate from normal activity. Deviance is also shown because the focus of this show is on individuals who are part of minority populations and mostly shows street crimes rather than capital crimes. The deviance is condemned because it is part of a law enforcement show. The officers and members of the law enforcement community are the ones to condemn the deviance.

When I watch this program, it makes me feel happy that these people committing crimes are off the streets and that they will have to pay for the crime they committed. I think this show also has a large effect on other viewers where people either hate the police more than some already do or are glad that the police are there helping to keep them safe from the people portrayed on the show. I think this program serves to reinforce prevailing social norms because it shows bad people doing bad things in the community. This show is a warning to the general public that if you were to commit any of the crimes they show, you could end up just like the individual shown on your television. Most people don’t want to end up on television, so they do not commit these acts.

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