The television show South Park highlights many deviant behaviors, from racism to the objectification of women as well as murder and genocide. However, the deviance in the chosen episode “Up the Down Steroid” deals mainly with the Strain Theory, which states when individuals feel social pressures they react in a deviant manner (Zembroski, 2011, p. 245-246). While this reaction can cover a varying degree of acts, the deviance in this episode is drug use in sports, domestic violence, and acting mentally handicapped in order to compete in the Special Olympics. This deviant behavior results from placing more value in the end goal than in the process followed to achieve the goal. Once respect for the path is lost, one will rationalize deviant behavior to achieve the goal.
In our modern society there are many different sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows that include deviant characters. The definition of deviance used to analyze the…show more content… This theory discusses deviance as occurring when the self-reward is greater than the combined risk (Janowitz, 1975, p. 84). This definition incorporates external and internal controls that regulate the decisions an individual makes based on the degree of each control (Inderbitzin, 2013, p. 285-286). During the episode a drug dealer calls Jimmy over and mentions how he has new steroids that are not traceable in drug tests (Parker, 2004). The external control of the drug test is eliminated because the drug test cannot detect the new steroid. The only other source of social control in the situation is internal control, which is overcome by the risk versus reward analysis Jimmy makes. For Cartman, the risk is minimal compared to the reward for winning. He would only get kicked out of the Special Olympics if the officials discovered he was not mentally handicapped, but if he won then the reward would be a $1,000