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deviance essay

Deviance is the violation of societal and community agreed on norms
and rules (David, 2018.p212). Primarily it is any non- conformist behavior that is
disapproved of by society or a social group, whether it is illegal or not. It is norm- breaking behavior and
can range from being eccentric to criminal activity.
Durkheim argues that deviance is useful for a society because it
performs a variety of functions for society. It helps to clarify norms, it
helps to unify groups, it helps to diffuse tension, and it helps to promote
social change.
Deviance helps to clarify norms in a society because it helps to
emphasize to people what is and is not acceptable behavior. When
people act in ways that are unacceptable and they are punished, we...
According to the functionalist theory of sociology, founded by Emile Durkheim, every
existing notion in the society serves to help society function properly. According to this
paradigm, everything that serves as functional for the society continues to exist, while all
that is dysfunctional ceases to exist.
The functionalists argue that because deviance has continued to exist, it must serve a
function to the society. They state that deviance serves to help remind society what is right
or wrong. Because each deviant act has a certain consequence (mostly negative such as a
punishment), each time there is a deviant actor caught and punished, the society is able to
see the outcome and this helps reassert the values of the society. Thus most people will
begin conforming out of fear of punishment from becoming deviant.
On the other hand, deviance in a large number may help bring about revolution. Deviance is
also a relative concept. What was once considered deviance is norm in another time.
For example once women participation in public spaces in society was deviance, but Now its
norm. Similarly, martin Luther king at his time was a deviant but he gained following and
eventually, once the following caught speed. It became widely accepted.
Because this deviance was functional for the society , it continued, deviance in other forms
like people's cult died out because they were dysfunctional according to functionalist theory
of sociology. Deviance can become beneficial when the behavior that is considered deviant
is normalized. I don’t mean that deviant criminal behavior should become normalized or
accepted or that it is beneficial to our society but, in the past in the U.S., homosexual
relationships were considered deviant, mixed race relationships were considered deviant, so
was smoking marijuana! They still are to some people but to the majority are not, thankfully.
When people accept that type of behavior it’s certainly good for those individuals practicing
it and can lead to decriminalization and a broader understanding of the issues surrounding i