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"Deviation from Social Norms" and "Failure to Function Adequately" - there attempt to define Abnormality. The "definition from social's norm" definition of abnormality is basically: social norms are approved and expected ways of behaving in a particular society, they are unwritten laws which are socially accepted by the majority. "Deviation from Social Norms" is therefore not approved an expected ways of behaving in a particular society. The definition for "Failure to Function Adequately" is when a person is not able to work properly in a normal/ way of life, is unable to experience the wider range of emotions or behave in a normal way. Within this essay I will explain how "deviation from social norms" and "failure to function adequately" defines abnormality. Norms meaning socially approved and expected ways of acting/ behaving in a particular society, unwritten rules. Therefore "deviation from social norms" is away from the norms; not approved and expected ways of behaving in a particular society. For example, some decades ago, homosexuals were thought to have a psychological disorder, to be mentally ill and were put through horrific ordeals in an attempt to 'cure' them, because it was a minority and it deviated from the social norms of those times. ...read more.


Also, you can't use this theory all across the world, as trends/fashions/norms differ between societies. Meaning, something which is considered normal in the west maybe considered abnormal in the east. So a new criteria needs to be generated and used for each culture, as cultures vary greatly. When a person is not able to work properly in a normal standard way/life; unable to experience the wider range of emotions or behave in a normal way, this is what the "failure to function adequately" theory states. For example, if a fully grown adult is unable to hold down a job for a period of time or if they can not get out of bed in the morning, because they see no point in it, this is an indication of "failure to function adequately". These examples are said to be "failure to function adequately" when in the extreme. There are four indicators of "failure to function adequately"; Personal Distress - when you realise your suffering yourself, and you want to do something about it, Observer Discomfort - people who cause upset or discomfort to others, can cause disruption in social interaction, Unpredictable Behaviour - opposite of depression, includes mania and Irrational Behaviour - when a person's behaviour does not make any sense to others. ...read more.


People who are of the minority are more exposed to exploitation, deprivation and harassment, because they are of another race, culture. Racism and prejudice have a huge impact on your psychological health. Therefore if you move to another culture and you experience racism and prejudice against your race etc, you are likely to have substandard housing and harsh working conditions, which causes a lot of stress for the migrants. These have mental health problems for the new migrants but it can be inadvertently associated with the ethnicity. Both of the studies; "deviation from social norms" and "failure to function adequately" have a common factor; that both theories are affected by culture/ cultural relativism. Because of this, we can see that there is a problem with both theories. Therefore it is impossible to generalise all the cultures under one definition, because different cultures have different norms and social expectations. Therefore it is not proper if someone from one culture, uses there norms and expectations to judge another culture as something in one culture maybe normal whereas it maybe abnormal in another culture. To make the definitions more accurate, whenever diagnosing someone of another culture, they should use the norms and expectations of that culture as the standard, and compare the person's behaviour to that. ...read more.

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