also said that deviance clarifies moral boundaries. The U.S society and other societies globally label people as deviant. This allows different societies to distinguish the difference between what’s right and wrong. People in societies that are considered deviant are usually punished somehow for their deviant behavior. Others learn not to repeat their actions because they do not want to face the consequences that follow. The third function of deviance is promoting social unity. If a part of a society is acting deviant, the part of society that is against them will join together and unify. Because they disagree with the deviant acts, it brings them closer as a society. This takes place in the U.S aw
well as in societies globally. An example is of this happened during World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S as a whole unified and became a stronger society. The very last function of deviance that Durkheim stated was that deviance encourages change within a society. Durkheim stated that “today’s deviance can become tomorrow’s morality.” An example of this in the U.S and globally is gay marriage. It used to be considered very inappropriate but as it occurs more commonly in societies, it is becoming more accepted. The four functions of deviance can be seen in the U.S society and global societies as well. Durkheim said that the four functions of deviance are to affirm values and norms, to clarify social boundaries, promote solidarity, and to encourage social change. There are many examples of how the functions of deviance take place in societies. They affirm values and norms by showing what deviant acts are and clarify boundaries by showing societies rights from wrongs. Deviance promotes solidarity by bringing people together after witnessing deviant acts. It encourages social change because after a deviant act is done so many times society will begin to accept it. Durkheim believed that deviance was normal for societies to function healthily.
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- Fall '12