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Deviance is described as behaviors that do not adhere to the
stereotypical social norms. These are the people who decide not to accept the
standards that society has set and can change over time. Media seems to make it
its job to mainly display those people who should be marked as deviant. The
United States political realm has always been deem as corrupt and misleading
without little to no repercussions. However, the year 2017 can arguably be
called the year of the political scandals. The United States political
representatives got caught red handed in deviant acts that questioned their
moral standings not only as a political figure but also the average American.
But these acts not only apply to the political world, examples can be seen in
the common public as well.

Sexual Misconduct: Republican
Representative Trent Franks of Arizona

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            MJ Lee,
Deirdre Walsh, Juana Summers and Eli Walkins, reporters from CNN, wrote on the
resignation following the sexual harassment claim against Arizona Republican
Representative Trent Franks. Trent Frank announced that he will resign from
Congress after the House of Ethics Committee stated that would be leading an
investigation surrounding his sexual harassment allegations. Franks made it
known that is his guilty of making his staffers “uncomfortable” with his views
of on surrogacy and fertility. However, it is clear to me that he did not
attempt any sexual contact with any of his members on his staff.

Franks’ act of deviance is sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, surrounding the
“Me Too” movement the concept of innocent until proven guilty is not seen.
Trent Franks has been put into the category of guilty until proven innocent. In
the wake of this external boundary shift, sexual misconduct has suddenly become
a norm surround the rape/harassment culture within the United States. Behavior plays a role in Franks’
alleged sexual misconduct case. His behavior is unintended deviant because in
his mind, he did not do anything wrong. Franks had achieved status of deviance
by the possibility of sexually harassing his congressional committee. However,
his ascribed status of being a white male of America will make this
investigation go by smoother. This case of sexual harassment can be seen
through the lens of sin, The lens of sin is seen because any sexual activities
with anyone outside of your spouse is considered to be deviant. Franks did the
best thing by resigning before the investigation started so his name will not
be tarnished as much. Hopefully, the case will go under the old wise saying of
“out of sight, out of mind”. This act may be considered deviant to those who
fall under the collective group of haters of people who commit any unwanted
sexual acts and crimes. In the wake of the “Me Too” movement, the media has
been flooded with sexual misconduct from political representatives all over
America. The language that is used by the group of extreme formal as expected
from CNN. Franks would be considered as negative deviance because sexual
misconduct in the United States is no longer taken lightly due to the society
boundary shift seen within the public. The court system of America can no
longer take the sexual misconduct like there is an elephant in the room due to
the alarming amount of controversy surround the political atmosphere.

How “Sway”: Don Blankenship

            Adam Raymond, a journalist with the Daily Intelligence,
covers the story of former CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship- the
disgraceful coal baron who violated the mine safety standards that resulted in
the deaths of twenty-nine miners- and his endeavors to gain a seat as
Republican Senator of West Virginia. Blankenship was convicted in 2015 for
conspiring to break mine-safety laws that was the cause of the 2010 explosion
at the Upper Big Branch Mine.  He
considers himself the “American political prisoner” and felt that he should not
have been convicted of something that was caused by natural events. In 2016,
the government agreed that he was the one to blame and according to the Mine
Safety and Health Administration the Massey Energy Company “had a culture of
prioritizing production and profits over the safety of the people” (Raymond,

 Don Blankenship’s act of deviance is worker
endangerment due to profit enhancement. The social norm of a safe workplace was
changed due to Blankenship’s carelessness to disobey the laws intact to keep
miners safe in the coal mines. Attitude plays a role in Blankenship’s deviance
because his attitude toward the workplace endangerment centers on trying to cut
cost and save money for the company, even though it was at the expense of the
workers instead of his own pension. With this crime, he achieved deviant status
in the eyes of the common people within the United States. The lens of selected
because his choice was completely voluntary. I believe that Blankenship got
away easy because of his ascribed status of a race. If this was someone else
who was outside of the white race, the sentencing would have been a lot longer
than just a year. This may not be considered deviant to those who fall into the
collect group of CEO who also cut corners at the expense of its workers. The
use of media in regards at the time made it a wakeup call to people who also
partake in workplace endangerment. It made them realize that they too can serve
up to a year in jail. Within the article, Raymond made the language moderate so
that everyone who reads can grasp a full understanding of the content. I do not
think that there is any boundary shifting involved because even though laws are
in place to protect workers, it is not as heavily enforced as it should be. The
law of the United States in addition to the Mine Safety and Health
Administration discourages acts that could potentially hurt people in the
workforce. Blankenship would be considered negative deviance because the
endangerment of workers is against the law and is not socially accepted among
the average American.

Shawn F. Engle

            Tim McGlone, journalist with the newspaper- The Pilot,
takes on a story covering the trial of Shawn F. Engle. Shawn F. Engle was a man
who liked to call himself Superman for the multiple talents. He claimed that he
has ties to the Russian mob and was trained by Special Forces. He was believed
to have the remarkable talent of escaping handcuffs similar to Houdini. Though
his many talents, Engle got himself into some trouble for the last time. He was
convicted forty years in prison on March 2010 for enticing two female minors
for sex, filming the act and tampering with witnesses while in jail. He met the
girls online then traveled to their hometowns- South Carolina and Pennsylvania-
to engage in ciotus. Engle was also charged with having phone sex with a minor
in Norfolk City Jail on a recorded line. The prosecutors on the case made it
known that Engle had “alarming behavior” over his lifespan. He was known for
his sexually deviant and violent behaviors.

            Engle’s deviant acts over the a 30 year span include
sexual misconduct with minors, masturbation in front of two women, assault,
intent of assault, and indecent exposure. The deviant act of child enticement
is what ultimately ended with forty years in prison. The social norm violates
not only a folkway but also a more and law. Sex with a minor goes against every
type of social norm in the United States. The man who committed this awful
crime is labeled deviant because of his behavior because he knew what he was
doing was wrong and he still decided to commit the acts. Engle achieved deviant
status with his crime. His deviant act can be seen through both the acts of sin
and crime. I think these acts fit because fornication regardless of age is
against the bible which is how you can use the act of sin. You can use the act
of crime because sexual enticing of minor also violates the law. The lens of
sick can be argued for Engle because there is no way that someone in their
right mind can do the things that he did to those girls and the events that
happened prior to this particular case. I believe that if this man was someone
who has more money that they would have been treated the same exact way.
However, the time of the condition would be noticeably short or maybe even been
able to get off for a mental condition. This act may not be considered deviant
across other collective groups. I do not know much about the minimum age of
sexual consent but it may be possible somewhere. The media’s role in sharing
his information made this act seem just like a normal event happens within the
United States. The language used was somewhat normative and informal. I do not
believe that there is any boundary shifting. This act will always be considered
deviant. There is definitely a controlling institution that discourages these
acts, it is the United States law system. Any sexual misconduct with minors is
deemed horrible in the eyes of the American society. Engle would be considered
negative deviance because regardless of who is looking at this case it will
always be negatively evaluated.

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