Theoretical Analysis of "Deviant" Subcultures and Activity A. Functionalist Perspectives: Strain or Anomie Theory (Merton)- Rooted in assumptions of functionalist theory > Briefly allude to Durkheim's notions re: "functions" of deviance > **ASK STUDENTS: What functions would deviance serve? That is, how does society benefit from defining some things as deviant? Highlight how it creates and reaffirms moral boundaries. ..- Note that functionalists see deviance as an "objective" or "absolute" phenomenon. ..- A prominent functionalist theory of deviance developed by Robert Merton > ANOMIE THEORY: Merton believed that deviance resulted from an imbalance in the social system> This imbalance produced "anomie ," a state of confusion existing in both ind'l and society because social norms are weak, absent or conflicting. According to Merton, anomie arises due to an imbalance between socially approved goals and socially available means for achieving them. In the U.S., anomie exists because people are socialized to
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