Deviance : Structural Functionalism, Social Conflict, And Symbolic Interaction

893 Words Mar 12th, 2016 4 Pages

Deviance is best defined as the “recognized violation of cultural norms(Moffit).” Contrary to popular opinion, deviance is not always someone acting out negatively. This behavior is simply different and unusual, and that can be a positive thing. All great change in human history happened because somebody decided to go against the norm. Staying the same and choosing to follow society`s rules and customs can stunt the progression of the the human race. Change is inevitable, and change cannot occur without deviance. In order for society to function and map out the necessary rules, there needs to be unusual behavior to know what these guidelines are. You can not have stability without there first being chaos. There are three social foundations of deviance: structural functionalism, social conflict, and symbolic interaction. The definition of structural functionalism is that “individuals have little to no control over the ways in which particular structures operate(Keel).” According to this theory, individuals have zero control over how society operates, but individuals are understood in terms of social positions. Individuals are ranked and rewarded by the position they hold, and this determines their place in society. The higher the rank, the greater the reward. Individuals are not individuals, and are only recognized by their position and rank, and have little control over how their society is being run. This would of course lead to “acting out” in a deviant manner,…

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