Can Deviance Be Functional

Can Deviance Be Functional - Can Deviance Be Functional?...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Can Deviance Be Functional? Let’s pause here to consider Emile Durkheim’s observations about deviance (original text from “The Division of Labour in Society” 1893).Durkheim argued that deviance, especially extreme forms are functional in that they challenge and offend the established norms in the larger collective conscience. In other words extreme deviance pushes things enough to make members of society reconsider why they even consider some behaviors as being deviant. Building on this idea, Functionalists often argue that: deviance reaffirms norms when the deviants are punished; deviance promotes solidarity among those who support and those who oppose the deviance; deviance provides a clear contrasting point of comparison for society’s members; and deviance often stimulates social change. In Martinez’s naked guy case, both the City and University had to take a serious look at why and how they defined public nudity and which formal norms they would develop to support their position. Similar formal evaluations of deviance occurred after Dr “Death” Kevorkian assisted severely ill persons in taking their own lives; after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US (Twin Towers, Pentagon, and flight crash in Pennsylvania) killed about 3,000 people; and more recently after major US corporations which have been mismanaged and have deeply shaken markets, investments, and economic stability. Extreme deviance does make us consider “normal” behavior on the personal and larger social level. As a sociologist, you should strive for an objective stance when studying deviance. It take practice but is truly rewarding because of the clarity it brings to your evaluation. It’s like you try to see society and people the same way statisticians see things. Look at the diagram below. Here
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 3

Can Deviance Be Functional - Can Deviance Be Functional?...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online