Deviance As A Social Conflict Theory Essay examples

937 Words Nov 28th, 2016 4 Pages
Deviance is found in all types of societies. Some sociologists such as, Emile Durkheim, believe that deviance is universal and not abnormal in a society. Durkheim puts his ideas of deviance into a structural-functional theory, which sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability. Whereas other sociologists, such as Alexander Liazos, believe that deviance is a result of social inequality. Liazos ideas fit into a social-conflict theory, which sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change. However, both theories see deviance in a society in two different lights.
Sociologists using the structural-functional theory believe that deviance within a society helps to affirm cultural values and norms, either formal or informal rules. Deviant acts challenge those boundaries, so when a person is being punished for a deviant act, it sets up a pattern of what society sees as acceptable or unacceptable behavior from individuals. When a person is arrested and sentenced for drunk driving, this affirms the cultural value that drunk driving is wrong. This is a consequence of breaking a formal rule. If an employee wears sweatpants to work instead of business attire, and is sent home, this affirms an informal rule in our society. Therefore, deviance within a society allows clarification of right and wrong within the society. Another belief is that deviance within a society can allow for unification within…

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