• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Different perspectives on whether deviance is a beneficial part of a healthy society.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A LEVEL SOCIOLOGY Introduction Deviance is any non- conformist behaviour that is disapproved of by society or a social group, whether it is illegal or not. It is norm- breaking behaviour and can range from being eccentric to criminal activity. Deviance maybe positively sanctioned (remedies) or negatively (punished) or simply accepted or tolerated. For example a soldier on a battlefield, who risks his life beyond the call of duty, may be termed deviant, as may a scientist who breaks the rules of the discipline and develops a new theory. Their deviance may be positively sanctioned; the soldier might get a medal; the physicist the Nobel prize. In another sense, neither is deviant, since both conform to the values of their society, the soldier to the value of courage, the scientist to the value of academic progress. However some groups of deviants come from those who depart from the social norm because they don't know they exist or they have forgotten them, for example children or people with learning disabilities. ...read more.

Middle

Humans do not just identify differences they also evaluate them good/bad, normal/abnormal and natural/unnatural. Cohen (1966) argued that Deviance could be seen as a 'safety valve' allowing a relatively harmless expression of discontent. However in this way social order is protected. For example Cohen suggests that prostitution can release the stress and pressure of family life without undermining family stability as most relationships between prostitution and their client avoid emotional attachments. This way prostitution performs a safety valve function. Cohen also suggests that certain deviant acts are a useful warning device to alert that an aspect of society is malfunctioning. Durkheim suggested that society itself generates deviance for its own well-being. Cohen added that certain forms of deviance are a natural and normal response to particular crime. Durkheim believed there are four functions of crime. The law makes the extremities of acceptable behaviour to set and make it clear to the rest of the public what is acceptable behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

Criticisms There are a few problems connected with Durkhiems view. The first is that he did not offer any real explanation as to why certain people are more likely to commit deviant acts than others. Marxist perspectives argue that another problem lies in Durkhiems stress of the harmony of society and the belief that law reflects the interests and views of the majority of the population. He ignores the concept of power. Marxist believes that it is the ruling class who have greater ability than the bulk of the population to influence the law making process. Conclusion In conclusion there are many aspects as to why deviance is a beneficial part of all healthy societies. I believe that if a society had people who are all good then when a person does an act, which violates and goes against a social norm, then this will be seen as a crime. Therefore deviance to some extent is a good aspect for every society. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. describe four studies relating to crime and deviance - each from a different perspective. ...

    Changing social factors and ensuring the criminal justice system is as it should be, could alter crime rates dramatically. (Haralambos, 2000, page 391) John Lea and Jock Young deliver an explanation of this in 'What is to be Done about Law and Order'.

  2. Crime and Deviance

    Since such statistics are published regularly, there would seem to be no difficulty in assessing crime rates, but this assumption is quite erroneous. Statistics about crime and delinquency are probably the least reliable of all officially published figures on social issues.

  1. Deviance in Society A person would be considered to be acting deviantly in society ...

    Parents can prevent this by being competent, non-punitive (to a point), non-aggressive or violent, and teach their child high self-confidence. Family conflict has more damaging effects on children than divorce. Where as parental death has less impact than divorce (Four Categories 2).

  2. Crime and Deviance

    On many occasions, today's deviance becomes tomorrow's normality or tomorrow's famous person. E.g. Nelson Mandela, fought for equal rights was imprisoned for 18 years but was eventually released and became the first black president. E.g. Sir Bob Geldof in 1980 said that he would raise money for the third world.

  1. The dictionary defines deviance as the breakdown or diversion from the accepted norm or ...

    This theory can be seen as a form of relativism theory because the criteria for judgement varies form individual to individual and also from time and from circumstances. It is my opinion that this labelling is mostly prevalent in countries with mixed and populations like North America where the groups

  2. Critically Compare and Contrast Functionalist and Traditional Marxist Perspectives On Crime.

    Functionalists see crime to have a function in society however not a primary one in that it provides jobs and can set standards for enforcement and laws are introduced or are looked at to further set boundaries An amount of crime is good whereas too much crime is bad and could bring about societal collapse bringing further anarchy and confusion.

  1. anti-social behaviour

    The questions were mainly structured and were to be documented into a questionnaire to be issued to the general public. It was important to get a cross section of people from different age groups and genders in order to make sure that the views from the wider public were being gathered and transmitted in the report.

  2. Describe law and order in London in the late 19th century

    The police officers working on the case were changed regularly making it difficult for the stability of the investigation. Police evidence was often interfered such as the graffiti written in chalk, "The Juwes are the men That Will not be blamed for nothing", found after the fourth murder of Catherine Eddowes.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work