Functionalism Functionalist theories focus on the preservation of social order. Deviance helps maintain social cohesion and the collective conscious . A. Functional Deviance 1. Deviance Contributes to Social Order Durkheim emphasized the importance of deviance in society as a tool for boundary maintenance . The media, who reports on deviance and the accompanying punishment, serve to educate the public by restating society's rules. Punishing violators reaffirms the rightness of society and its rules. Degradation ceremonies Rituals play a role in boundary maintenance (see Henslin, 1999:211). A group that discovers a deviant in their fold will attempt to "mark" that deviant for everyone can see. The individual is called before the group to account for his or her deviance. People will testify against him. The individual is found guilty. Finally, an effort is made to strip the individual of his or her group membership. An example of degradation ceremonies is a court martial where a guilty officer is
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