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Analysing Deviance And Its Functions Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1116 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Deviance is a category of persons and their conduct thought to present a threat to social order; to whom negative essence is attributed and about whom it is thought something should be done(p 237 Hewitt).

Even children are thought to be deviant if they act out in school because it goes against how children are “supposed” to act. Just because someone deviates from social norms, it does not mean they are bad people. Past shows that murderers,rapists, abusers, etc, are all labeled as deviant but not everyone falls under those categories. Deviant behavior is anyone that doesn’t conform to society’s norms or averages, which is not eccentrically wrong or harmful but just different. We have gay and lesbians that people view as having deviant behavior because they are different, which is ridiculous. Elvis Presley was considered deviant because of how he danced while singing rock and roll music, Marilyn Monroe was considered deviant because of her rumored affairs with married men, most notably President Kennedy and his brother. Societies view on deviant behavior varies from person to person and what their belief systems is made up of. I was considered deviant because I cohabitation with my husband prior to marriage, we had a baby prior to marriage so I was said to be living in sin. I really do not judge people by things that are no ones business. It was no ones business who I lived with or what we did. No one considered that we did not want to get married yet, had no money to do so because we bought a house first, or that we were ecstatic to have a baby and not ashamed as everyone said we should be. Deviance serves 4 major functions: 1. Affirming cultural values and norms

2. Clarifying moral boundaries 3. Promoting social unity 4. Encouraging social change

If you notice most serial killers are said to have deviant behavior and how can you lump people that are gay or someone who lives in sin in the same category as them? Going against cultural norms is how we as a society moves on. If people did not differ from the usual lifestyle, we would still be stuck

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in the 1800’s. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were also considered to be deviant because they wanted women to have equal rights, equal pay and coeducation for women and college training for girls. They were outcasts and thought to be crazy because of these notions they had. They paved they way by forming the Woman Suffrage Union, although taking years and years, eventually leading to equal rights for women. Rosa Parks was called many things because she did not conform to how society wanted her to. She sat at the front of the bus enduring ridicule and pain for her stance against racism. Even though deviance can be considered dysfunctional, it also can bring good things to our country and other countries. Times are changing and people need to learn to adapt with those changes. Voting for a president that is not white or a man was also views as taboo, but we did it. Not everyone shares views that are equal regarding race, religion, etc and in a community may be looked at as an outcast or deviant. Not everyone believes in God and what sins are. I am a vegetarian, but I would never push my beliefs on anyone else. I respect everyone’s opinion and what they believe in but unfortunately, not everyone is like that. They want their beliefs to be everyone’s and cannot understand why people choose a different way of life. I personally do not like that anyone, no matter who they are,

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to be considered a sinner or going to hell because of being gay or getting an abortion or anything else that is different from what society views appropriate. How is it alright to drink, do drugs, beat you r wife, practice polygamy, yet turn around and say someone is a sinner and should go to hell for having an abortion after being raped, or not being able to afford a baby, or maybe something is wrong with mother or child? I just would never judge someone like that. The people that are against gay marriage, race equality, women rights, to name a few are usually the ones who say we are deviant. We would never have come this far as a society without moving away from the norm or what society views as wrong. We have progressed to what I think to be in the right direction and that was because people went against what everyone else viewed to be appropriate and paved the way for us. There was a time when people looked the other way when a wife was abused or a child was molested because they just

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did not want to be involved. It was unheard of for a women to go against her husband for spousal abuse, but it is now recognized because of women being “deviant”. We have domestic abuse centers, rape centers, RAINN( rape and incest national network) in place because of people that went against the norm and stepped up to make a statement and help others. While deviance is known to be bad, it is not all bad. We have progressed as a country because of deviance of someone who thought it was wrong to tell a gay couple they should not be together, or that it doesn’t matter what race you are, you can run this country.

Societies views change from time to time which is a good thing, but people and their beliefs rarely change. With that being said, we have to have social boundaries in place so that we can disconnect the relation between what our minds create and what we in reality may achieve.

It is important to have boundaries for many reasons. First , so that people do not commit crimes and go

unpunished. There has to be laws in place to make sure society is safe from people that commit these crimes. Also boundaries in life, love, work, friendships, etc. We have to have boundaries for ourselves in order to be healthy and happy in life. If you let people walk all over you all the time, it is not a way to live. If you let people dictate your life it is uneventful to say the least. Boundaries are a part of society because we need them. Social boundaries protect us from a multitude of things. We protect ourselves and our views with social boundaries. When we go to a store and we can only afford to get milk, bread and cheese, we have to have boundaries in place so that we only get that milk,bread and cheese. It is tempting to get a candy bar instead of bread but we cant. We have professional boundaries because to protect ourselves as well. In psychology we cannot go out to dinner with a patient after their therapy session because it is ethically wrong. We have boundaries in place so that we do not overstep them.


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