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Do you agree with Emile Durkheim that deviance provides certain functions for...

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matt09 | eNoter

Posted February 14, 2010 at 11:53 PM via web

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Do you agree with Emile Durkheim that deviance provides certain functions for society?

Be sure to describe Durkheim’s main thesis regarding deviance and provide examples or evidence to support your position.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 15, 2010 at 12:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Durkheim's strain theory of social order basically sets store on similar axioms proposed by other social scientists in that all systems are both dependent, interdependent and intradependent on each other. Action and reaction are paradigms within such axiom. The implication is that whatever inner force moves within the epicenter of society will no doubt have a influence in the outer and upper echelons of the social nesting tables.

In the case of deviance it is defined as a detour from the norm. In Durkheim's multi level construct, social integration, or coming of age in society comes with its own set of normative processes that, with the proper social support systems, will undoubtedly help the individual succeed.  But, when there is a detour of the norm in the form of disorganization, mismanagement, underfunding, over expectations, lack of follow-up, or carelessness on the part of such support systems, they are themselves being deviant and they are propitiating individuals to be deviant as well.

Hence, if you study violent cultures such as gangs, for example, you will see that all their social surroundings were direct contribuitors to the culture, indirectly and unknowingly, albeit, but still an element to what deviant behavior would eventually become.

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