Observing Different Sociological Perspectives of Deviance: a Case Study of Walter White from Breaking Bad

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Walter White has always been a character of intrigue and change and surprise and confusion. There is never a moment where he is normal. He fits into the three categories of sociological perspective of deviance; symbolic interactionist perspective, functionalist perspective, and conflict perspective.

With Symbolic interactionist perspective has to do with control of yourself and how others control you. It is often a struggle with Walter as to who has the true power over him. He plays this game with his wife the most. She controls him most of the time and even though he has moments of control of his own future; she always finds a way to jump back in and take control of him. It is actually mind blowing how he allows her to consume his life.

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She has control

Even when she has the chance to leave him, she stays because she wants to money and she wants to be in control of how he ends up and how her kids end up. Instead of hating him for being a drug dealer, she moves on and take his money willingly. She never loses control of him, she simply allows him to run around free for a little while, to think he has the freedom.

With the functionalist perspective I think that it does not fit Walter white well. There are points in his career that show how he commits white collar crime, gender crimes, and street crime. First off as a teacher he steals from his own school to support the street crime that is often only committed by males. He tends to commit all three kind of crimes in one. But it all honesty, if you commit one you’re bound to commit another.

With conflict perspective I think Walter plays a small part in this. His time for the crime depends on the class more than the crime. My perspective is that a lower class man or woman who commits the same crime as an upper class man/woman will end up with either more time or a sentencing in general because they are lower class. As much as the judicial system can deny this statement, at some point the upper class human will find a way to get out of it or they will be given an excuse. A low paid white man will get charged with higher offenses than a rich white man. Same for black people. The color does not matter as much anymore. Black or white; low income with poor history means more time.

I think Walter never became a low income person but interestingly enough his income no longer mattered. It was the fact that his brother-in-law was in the DEA. It was the other fact that he was battling some of the biggest drug dealers in the states and he was winning. He was so dangerous and in all honesty was policeman would risk attacking him. In the end what happened to Walter saved more innocent lives than anything else would.

Over all I think he interacts best with the Symbolic interaction simply because he has these power struggled throughout the series. He struggles to have control over himself and control of others. He never really shames people into his control, he kills till he gets it. Well, technically he also cooks his way into control. Supply and demand is one of the biggest control games to play and he plays it so easily. It is like he had this ability to be a leader, and he shows it, but at the same time he will never be alpha over his wife and it is truly interesting.

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