What Is A Norm?

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2. What is a norm? How do norms operate to define deviancy? To answer this question, you should first define what a norm is and, then, explain how norms work in everyday life. Refer to assigned reading material to illustrate your answer. You may find the materials on Blackboard helpful in answering this question. A norm can be defined as a social rule that that governs behavior in a community. Violating a norm can often be considered deviant. In class we identified Sumner’s three categories of norms folkways, mores, and laws. We know that the punishment for violating a folkway would be less severe than the formal sanctions violating a more or a law would bring about. Like most norms, deviance is socially constructed. An action that may be deviant in one society may be socially acceptable in another. Most of us are aware of what is considered appropriate behavior. However, the job of labeling deviance is left to those around us. One example could be a woman’s clothes. Although her friends may think that her attire is appropriate her parents could view the garments as deviant. This leaves us, as individuals, in a precarious position to determine what is socially acceptable and appropriate on a situational basis. 4. Generally, how do the three major theories of deviance explain and understand deviance. Briefly describe the functional, conflict and symbolic interactionist theories of deviancy. Then, select a particular deviant act such as child molestation, or selling drugs
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