Defining Deviancy Down By Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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In our everyday society, we see things but pretend to be blind, we hear things but pretend to be deaf, we taste freedom but pretend to live in hell, we smell corruption but pretend to live in heaven, and we touch others sorrow but pretend to be emotionless. What is becoming of our society you ask? We are becoming more lenient towards deviancy as time progresses, meaning that we are departing from the norm. The article written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Defining Deviancy Down”, illustrates the decline of social morals in the last 50 years within the United States. According to Moynihan, the amount of abnormal behavior being accepted into society is on the rise, if we don’t do something about this development the future generations will be impacted quite heavily. The abnormal behavior of society includes crime, mental illnesses, broken family structures and violence. He defines these terms by breaking them up into three different categories, the altruistic, the opportunistic, and the normalizing. These categories borrow ideas from people such as Emile Durkheim, Kai T. Erikson, Edwin Torres, and many others. Moynihan also uses articles and statistics in addition to the ideas of the people I mentioned to further develop his three categories. The first category, the altruistic, is illustrated by a movement that appeared in the 1950s known as the deinstitutionalization movement focusing on the mental health profession. The second category, the opportunistic, mainly portrayed
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