Conflict theory is one of the best in explaining deviant behavior in society. According to conflict theory, deviance is chosen deliberately and is political (Conyers and Calhoun, 2020). The Marxist thinkers argued individuals actively choose to engage in deviant behaviors and rejected that deviant behaviors are a result of various factors such as personality, biology, labels, and anomie. Conflict theory considers society as the wealthy controlling and overpowering the poor. Thinking in that direction means that conflict theory suggests that economic capitalism leads to crime and deviance. In conflict theory, deviant actions are taken as behaviors that don’t comply with the administration or institution. Conflict theory argues that deviant behaviors result from political, social, and material inequalities (Moshiri, 2019). For instance, some people do anything they want to achieve wealth whether it is through drugs, robbery, or prostitution.
Conflict theory clearly explains deviant behaviors and competition in community life. Conflict enlightens social change and fails to consider social stability. Handling deviance and bringing a clear idea of deviant behavior is one of the strengths of conflict theory. Conflict theory does not explain social stability as well as incremental change. This is because it only focuses on change and ignores the possibility of social stability.
Malcolm X has remained a figure of deviance against all types of oppression and racism among the youth population (Teixeira, Spears, and Yzerbyt, 2020). Even after being struck down for over fort years, Malcolm X became one of the most effective and powerful representatives of Black struggle and NOI. Malcolm X criticized the mainstream civil rights movement challenging the central notions of Martin Luther King of nonviolence and integration.
As teenagers, we all faced crossroads where there was a need to make decisions on whether to follow our friends that were involved in deviant behavior. I have never been asked to participate in deviant behavior that would be against social norms. One of the things I was involved in was doing drugs during my 20’s. The reason for this deviant behavior was only to want to do what everyone else was doing. I never received any sanctions for failing to take drugs since it just made me feel that I belong rather than a black sheep.