SOC 295 Section E01
April 28th, 2015
Deviance and Social Change
Deviance as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is, “The fact or state of departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behavior.” These “usual or accepted standards” are more often referred to as social norms. Sociologist, Emile Durkheim, identified four functions of deviance. The first two “affirming cultural norms” and “clarifying moral boundaries” are a result of the punishment of deviant behavior. So, if someone performs and action that is considered deviant and is punished for it, as a society we are more affirmed of what is considered right/wrong. They are not justified in being deviant, as their actions are usually deemed morally wrong. The other two functions “promoting social unity” and “encouraging social change” are a result of more complex issues within a society. (David Emile Durkheim). Oftentimes, groups within a society are underrepresented and become frustrated with their unjustly inferior position. In an effort to obtain equality and push back against oppressors, the group will unite and perform acts considered deviant to the existing norms within that society. This group’s deviant behavior becomes frequent and large scale and is often referred to as a social movement. Social movements have oftentimes resulted in social change and stated in the last of Durkheim’s four functions of deviance.
The films, Fiddler on the Roof, Thelma and Louise, and Avatar, depict individuals who are part of larger scale deviance. Each of these films illustrates a deviant individual sharing the common goal of larger deviating group. That is, to deviate with the purpose of creating a social movement that will ultimately result in soc...
... middle of paper ...
...irectly/indirectly supporting what can be considered necessary social change. So, as members of society it is in our best interest to approach deviance first with learning and then understanding. Once understanding has been achieved, society can then accurately make decisions in terms of punishing the deviant behavior, or accepting it as a call for change.
Brereton, Pat. Hollywood Utopia: Ecology in Contemporary American Cinema. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
David Emile Durkheim. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.
Discovering Sociology. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Lauderdale, Pat. "Deviance and Moral Boundaries." American Sociological Review: n. pag. Print.
Miller, Barbara L. "The Gun-in-the-Handbag, a Critical Contriversy, and a Primal Scene." Reel Knockouts: Violent Women in the Movies. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 200-18. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- While watching “The Philadelphia Story”, there were many occasions where deviant behavior can be observed from the characters. Every character’s actions are impacted and labeled by the theories somehow no matter what the deviant act was. Different theories were used to label some of the deviant acts in different ways according to the deviant act they committed. The three examples that I felt were very noticeable to the social deviant theories were: Dexter’s unannounced return and actions for Traci’s wedding, Traci’s behavior the night before the wedding and with Dexter, and Macaulay’s actions the night before Traci’s wedding and snooping around her family.... [tags: behavior, innovator, deviant]
2017 words (5.8 pages)
- Deviance or aberrance underscores any form of misdemeanor towards the generally acceptable principles or norms in any given society. Some factors to consider when defining deviance include gender, location, social status, and age. For instance, the crying of women in public in reiteration to emotional moments is not considered deviant in most societies. On the other hand, the crying of men in public places amounts to deviance in some societies, as it is against the norm for men to cry. Today in the United States, the crying of men in response to celebrations or achievements is a norm.... [tags: Sociology, Anomie, Social control, Deviance]
1662 words (4.7 pages)
- Deviance can be defined as an absence of conformity to the social norm. Not all deviant behavior is necessarily illegal or harmful to individuals, these behaviors can range from standing in another’s personal space to murdering another individual. In some cases, it can be looked upon as a positive change or a unique and favorable act. Although, considered deviant because it is not the social norm, it still can have a very positive social aspect or lead to social change. Culture and the societies within these cultures have a significant impact on what is considered deviant and what is acceptable or even lawful behavior.... [tags: social norm, behaviors, change]
1649 words (4.7 pages)
- The Three Main Theories of Deviance and Their Strengths and Weaknesses A functionalist analysis of deviance looks for the source of deviance in the nature of society rather than in the biological or psychological nature of the individual. Although functionalists agree that social control mechanisms such as the police and the courts are necessary to keep deviance in check, many argue that a certain amount of deviance can contribute to the well-being of society. Durkhiem (1895) believed that: * Crime is an 'integral part of all healthy societies'.... [tags: Papers Deviance Sociology Essays]
2010 words (5.7 pages)
- Addressing Sociology In taking sociology 101 this semester, I have truly learned a lot about the different aspects and perspectives that sociologists take on society. There is more to human behavior than just being happy or sad or depressed and etc. Sociologists go into further detail into explaining why people feel the way they do or think the way that they do. For example, my personal favorite chapter throughout this text, chapter six, has done a great deal in explaining social control and deviance.... [tags: Sociology, Criminology, Institution]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- Social deviance is a very broad term, which describes actions or behaviors that violate social “norms.” Norms, in a simple context, are rules by which members of society are expected to conform to. When discussing the term deviance, one might talk about the failure, or people’s failures to adapt to rules established by society. Social deviance has many forms and interpretations. Deviant acts, are primarily relative to setting, because deviance in one place could be considered non-deviance in another place.... [tags: norms, criminal behavior, equality, Malcolm X]
2495 words (7.1 pages)
- Social Deviance Social deviance is a term that refers to forms of behavior and qualities of persons that others in society devalue and discredit. So what exactly is deviance. In this essay we are concerned with social deviance, not physiological deviations from the expected norm. In general, any behavior that does not conform to social norms is deviance; that is behavior that violates significant social norms and is disapproved of by a large number of people as a result. For societies to run with some semblance of order the problem of deviance is essential and intrinsic to any conception of social order.... [tags: Sociology Behavior Society Deviant Essays]
1271 words (3.6 pages)
- From a sociological understanding, deviance is any behavior or physical appearance that is condemned from social standards because it defies social norms or social expectations. Sociological understanding of deviance is not always associated with a negative outcome, but can have positive effects for the individual or soceity. With the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks was seen deviant for sitting at the front of a bus and refusing to move when a white male came on board. This act of civil rights not only made a stance for improving African American rights, but also helped change social norms..... [tags: social standards, norms, expectations]
573 words (1.6 pages)
- Determining Deviance The dictionary defines deviance as the breakdown or diversion from the accepted norm or expected standards of behaviour of a society. The concept of deviance however has no standard definition, it is deemed to be culturally relative. That is to say that your culture (norms, values and morals) determine what you as an individual or your society deems deviant behaviour. Functionalist Findings on Deviance The functionalist sociologist would see deviance as a necessary evil for society to function.... [tags: Papers]
964 words (2.8 pages)
- SUMMARY OF DEVIANCE In the eighth chapter of “Sociology”, I. Robertson explains that there are many definitions about deviance but not enough, so he tries to find closer one and clarify the deviance. He starts with a question which is “who is deviant?” and lists of its answers.In the list of its answers, Robertson benefits from Simons` study and he says that; “the words refer to people and acts that other people strongly disapprove of ”(23).On the other hand, Robertson then counters it with conflicting topic of sociological literature.He claims that the concept of this definition is found slippery one by sociologists.After this idea,Robertson questions second definition which is “dviance... [tags: essays research papers]
573 words (1.6 pages)
- Avoiding Contact With Carcinogens And Its Effects On The Health Of The General Public
- Lady Macbeth By William Shakespeare
- Communication, Leadership And Management, Organizational Culture, Staff Motivation And Achievement Of Organisational Goals
- America 's Most Dangerous Mammal
- Racial Profiling And The United States
- The Requiem By William Shakespeare