In the study of Sociology of Deviance, sociologists develop theories and perspective in explaining the account for deviant and studying of how the society reacts. It is an interesting field to study because the difference and changes of deviance and social norms have a significant impact on individuals and groups. In this essay, I will examine varies definitions and perspective of Erikson and Heckerts respectively in respect to the following concepts: deviance serves certain functions for society, the typology of positive and negative deviance and the "middle class norms", and the labelling perspective on deviance.
To being with, Erikson claims that deviance as functional. To this reason, it is believed that Erikson derives his viewpoint from the functionalist’s concept in understanding the society. Like Durkheim, he suggests deviance is an integral part to a healthy and normal society, which allows individuals to affirm and clarify the right from the wrong behaviours. Based on this idea, Erikason further derives an influential application reasoning deviance and crime via three factors : communities, commitment ceremonies, and society’s expectation. First of all, “communities” can be understood as any organizations in the society, from small groups (family) to large groups (culture), that the members of the group share a lose-knitted relationship and a sense of belonging. Under this system, “boundary maintenance” serves as a sense of distinction of activity from group members to others within a large environment, it is a way to create social space by differencing between “we” and ‘they” mentality. It is possible to say that each of us create our own moral and cultural identity within communities through the influence of mass m...
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...nd distinguishing what is consider as acceptable and deviant. Lastly, labeling theory is a form of stereotyping by the social audience through the process of inventing selecting, manipulating beliefs, selecting people into categories. Above all, labeling theory might not be able to truly identifying people as deviant. To put it in other words, a wrongly accusation on people can ultimately ruin one’s lives in living with the stigma.
In a nutshell, human behavior is always seen as complex. Still, deviance serves functionally to the society by affirming the culture and social norm, clarifying right from wrong, and connecting others in society. While, sociologists understand the types of deviance based on human attitudes, behaviors, and condition. In the long run, Deviance should remains as an important field to study and investigate within the discipline of sociology.
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