Differential deviance and social control mechanisms among two groups of Yup'ik Eskimo

Am Indian Alsk Nativ Ment Health Res (1987). 1993;5(2):57-72. doi: 10.5820/aian.0502.1993.57.


This article explores the question of whether different social control mechanisms contribute to social disorganization and consequent deviance. Two groups of Yup'ik Eskimo were compared on reported felonies and misdemeanors. One group belongs to a sovereignty movement called the "Yupi'it Nation." Some member villages in this group have abolished their own tribal courts. The other group has maintained relationships with the state of Alaska and relies on Western law enforcement to maintain social order. There are statistically significant differences in amounts of reported felonies and misdemeanors. This may be due to differential deviance, differential reporting, or a combination of both. Because of the political position of the sovereignty villages, however, it seems clear that they are using more traditional methods of dealing with disruptive behavior. Use of traditional social control may contribute to social cohesiveness, thereby reducing deviance. Differential Deviance and Social Control Mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation
  • Alaska / epidemiology
  • Crime
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inuits / psychology*
  • Male
  • Social Behavior Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Social Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Social Problems