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Socially Accepted and Deviant Killings


Never has killing been perceived as a socially tolerable behavior. The killing has different connotations: some may view it as heroism, others identify it as a sin (Goode, 2016). However, some states consider homicide as a necessary measure in some instances. Primarily, taking a human life is legally condoned if it is an act of self-defense (Goode, 2016). Such conduct is considered legal and can be justified if it is done to prevent evil ideas of a criminal, robber, or other deviant patterns.

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What is more, execution can be perceived as a socially tolerated act. Execution presumes to kill a person who committed severe crimes such as rape or pedophilia (Goode, 2016). Therefore, it may be accepted by society as those people sometimes destruct many lives. Moreover, euthanasia is a non-deviant killing although prohibited by the law in multiple states as a person wants their life to be taken. Assisted suicide is a procedure, which helps people to avoid suffering; thus, it should be legalized.

Nonetheless, murder is still deviant in the majority of the cases as it assumes the intentional killing of a human by another human. It is conceptualized as an officially unacceptable act because there is a vicious purpose of taking someone’s life (Goode, 2016). In general, a murder is a wrongdoing that results in legal sanctions. Therefore, the killing can be described as deviant as it presupposes condemnation from society.

Each homicide reflects situational and societal deviance. Primarily, taking someone’s life by committing such actions as rape, robbery, or terrorism is reprehensive by the norms of society (Goode, 2016). On the other hand, situational deviance refers to the standards of a specific circle. For instance, when a boxer punches his rival, he may not assume that knocking out may result in a killing. Therefore, in all cases neglecting certain behaviors is deviant.


In conclusion, it seems reasonable to state that the nature of murder can be both tolerated and deviant despite that. A murder can be considered morally acceptable in cases of self-defense, euthanasia, and execution. However, a generally accepted truth proclaims that killing is deviant behavior and presupposes malevolent intentions. Hence, condemnation from society is inevitable, as it reflects either societal or situational deviance in the majority of the cases.


Goode, E. (2016). Deviant behavior (11th ed.). Routledge.

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