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Outline and evaluate deviation in social norms as a means to explain abnormal behaviour

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate deviation in social norms as a means to explain abnormal behaviour: 3.2.12 Deviation from social norms is Behaviour that deviates from the norms and values of society, that is, behaviour that deviates from what is the approved and expected way of behaving in a particular society is considered to be abnormal. There are unwritten rules of expected behaviour in society; they are implicit because they are not as clear as the law and they have to be earned through experience of the culture. People who ignore the implicit rules have ignored social norms and so are considered abnormal. ...read more.

Middle

The socially accepted way to behave in one culture may differ in another for example, in some cultures homosexuality is still socially unacceptable, whereas others have considerate and more equal rights like Britain compared to strict religious countries such as the Arab states where homosexuals are often murdered or imprisoned. Some countries offer the status of marriage as opposed to civil partnership in Britain. A study conducted by Kim and Motsei (2002) found that many African medical workers thought it was acceptable to beat a wife in order to correct her behaviour. These values are not shared in Western cultures. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, in 1968 homosexuals were classed as sexual deviants; today gay marriage is legal in the UK and although prejudice still exists, homosexuality is no longer associated with mental disorder which it once was in the USA until 1973. The definition does not reliably define abnormality because there is no consistency over time. To conclude the definition of deviation in social norm as a means to explain abnormal is extremely difficult as this definition cannot be generalised due to the variations and differences between cultures. This definition could be used in a way to determine abnormality amongst a culture but not numerous cultures. Deviation from ideal mental health and failure to function adequately can be viewed as a more reliable way in explaining abnormality. ...read more.

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