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Functionalism and Deviance

Structural-functionalism is one of the frameworks from which we can study deviance. Functionalists examine the complexity of the correlation between deviance and conformity. Structural-functionalist theories in terms of deviance include Durkheim’s Theory and Merton’s Strain Theory.¹

Many functionalists have a certain appreciation of deviance. Deviance helps the stability that helps explain was in within and outside cultural norms. These norms are a huge part of how people decide how to act appropriately.¹

Deviance also provides the key to understanding social disruption and rebuilding of a society that naturally and organically occurs over time. This only applies to functional deviance, not dysfunctional. Universal forms of dysfunctional deviance across most cultures include incest, murder and violent crime.¹

Functionalists emphasize social solidarity and the subjectivity of deviance. They understand that society will gradually adjust and incorporate things that used to be stigmatized.¹

Functionalist recognize both manifest and latent deviance. Manifest deviance is deviance that is obvious, such as outward oddness, direct observable actions or ascribed deviance like homosexuality. Latent deviance is an underlying or hidden and has secondary effects like drug use, political machines and organized crime.¹

Emile Durkheim’s concept of anomie plays a large role in most functionalist theories. Anomie is a state wherein when where is a breakdown of normative structure. According to Durkheim, this may lead to uncontrolled and fast change and unleash the worst parts of the individual.¹

 

 

Reference:

1. Salinger, L. Annual Editions: Deviant Behavior 00/01

Categories within Functionalism and Deviance

Durkheim's Theory

Postings: 2

Emile Durkheim was extremely influential in the study of deviance and believed that it is a normal and necessary part of society.

Merton's Strain Theory

Postings: 3

Robert Merton posits that social structures pressure certain citizens to act deviantly.

Crime as a Social Construct

•What does the idea of crime as a social construct mean to you? •How do the authors argue that this definition is initially constructed in such a way that some groups are able to avoid the stigma of negative social behavior within the context of crime? •How do patterns of discrimination filter upward in the criminal