The Importance Of Social Deviance

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Deviance is a concept that sociologists tend to struggle coming up with one widely accepted definition for. It is a concept that impacts everyone in a given society, either directly or indirectly, and is generally defined as “Variation from a set of norms or shared social expectations.” (Laurence Basirico, Barbara Cashion, J. Ross Eshleman 2014:195) Society often views social deviance as a negative thing that disrupts that natural order and guidelines of a society, but it also has many positive functions to it. Society can help, “define the limits of social tolerance”, “Increase the solidarity and integration of a group”, “Serve as a “safety valve” for social discontent”, and “indicate defects of inadequacies in the existing social organization.” (Basirico, 2014:195). All of these positive functions of a deviant behavior tend to lead towards positive change in a society that although may serve as a culture shock to the society at first, such as equality for LGBT groups, it will eventually become beneficial to the society and make it a healthier and more sustainable one. Without deviant behavior, the society becomes stagnant and will die, much like a living organism’s cells becoming stagnant, and the organism dying. Although social deviance can bring productive change to a society, it is still important to understand that it can lead to dysfunctions and be harmful to the society, as well as the people within it. Dysfunctions of society can be things such as,
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