Examples of Relative Definitions of Deviance

Examples of Relative Definitions of Deviance - behaviors,...

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Examples of Relative Definitions of Deviance: Using Mental Health Examples Definitions of mental disorders occur in much the same fashion that other forms of deviance receive their definitions. Many times the definition is quite vague and varies "depending on the culture, audience, and context." Behavior alone does not add up to mental disorder. Context is important (Eitzen, 1986:456-7). A. Class Context If a poor woman shoplifts a roast, people call her a common criminal. On the other hand, if a rich woman steals a roast, her deviant status is kleptomaniac -- a form of mental illness. B. Sexual Context If a woman is sexually promiscuous, she might find herself labeled as a nymphomaniac, while a man is a stud, macho, swinger, etc. C. Professional vs. Domestic Context A man may be punctual and obedient during the week while he is at work, but on Saturday afternoon he raises hell while watching the afternoon foot ball game. Both
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Unformatted text preview: behaviors, while appearing contradictory, are "normal" in their respective contexts. But, if he took Saturday's behavior to the office he would find himself labeled as strange and he might even get fired. On the other hand, passive behavior at a Saturday afternoon football game would be considered a social drag and his peers would not want to watch football with him anymore. D. Cultural Context Abstinence for two years after marriage in the West would be viewed as weird and grounds for annulment. Such behavior is, however, required for newlyweds in the Dani Tribe of New Guinea. Sexual activity for the Dani before two years would be viewed as sexual deviance. E. Time Context People used to be burned at the stake for engaging in behavior that most twentieth-century people see as normal....
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