Functionalism And Sociological Theories Of Deviance

1673 Words 7 Pages
Introduction.
Several sociological theories of deviance exist, and together they suggest a more rounded understanding of deviance than any of the other theories offers by itself. Together they answer problems such as: why deviance rates differ within social groupings and across places, why some behaviour is deviant and others are not, and why certain people are more likely than others to be seen as deviant and be punished for deviant behaviour. In this assignment the following theories and perspectives will be outlined and discussed: Functionalism, Marxism, Symbolic Interactionism and Feminism.
For one to understand these sociological theories one first needs a perfect understanding as to what deviance means .According to Livesey (2010), Deviance ,termed by sociologists refers to behaviour that differs from a certain social norm. Furthermore he says that deviance can be referred to as a behaviour that breaks rules. One also needs to take to mind that crime is a deviant act but not every deviant act is seen as a crime.
Functionalist Perspective
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He understood that deviance is a fundamental part of an effective society. A possible manner in which deviance can be functional, he reasoned, is that it tests and tests people’s existing views (Durkheim, 1893). An example would be, the Sharpeville massacre,where non-white South Africans took the streets to the police station without their passes; they challenged society’s notions of the Pass law. This was an attempt to bring about positive social change. Also, Durkheim noted, as soon as deviance is reprimanded, it endorses current social norms, which too adds to society. (Durkheim,1893). If one were to see a student getting detention at school for bunking lessons reminds the other children that they too will get reprimanded for bunking class. This clarifies social norms and brings about

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