deviance disavowal A refusal, on the part of those who have been labelled deviant, to accept this characterization. The concept was originally developed with reference to so-called social deviants, such as the physically handicapped, who had a strong interest in attempting to minimize the stigma of deviance in order either to appear normal or to normalize their interactions and relationships with the able-bodied. It is now used more widely, notably within the labelling perspective, to apply to all forms of deviant behaviour.
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