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Lecture 3

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Queen's University
SOCY 275
Vincent F Sacco

September 23 , 2013 Functionalism  Examine the relationship between deviance, social control, and social organization  Discuss sociological account regarding the ways in which deviance can undermine social order and stability  Consequence may be functional or eufuntional or are they dysfunction  If the consequences are functional than the consequence have a relationship to the stability, order and cohesion of the social system  When it contribute to society it is functional  Discuss some of the (non—obvious) ways in which deviance contributes to and supports social order  When talking about function and dysfunctions it is important to know the manifest and latent  Manifest functions: The presumable reaction, role or function in society Ex. You come to school to learn and get an education  Latent functions: The not obvious functions of society Ex. Most people who come to university will find their life partner while attending school  There is a difference between moral and functional significance  To say something if function or dysfunctional does mean it is good or bad, moral judgments are much different than functional things. Ex. Many things in Nazi Germany are functional, however the things that occurred during that time were in not means moral How does this help us understand deviance? Deviance as Functionalism  Social cohesion-opposing the deviant (the contributions of Emile Durkheim)  He discusses this point about deviance and the reaction to it, having an important function to social life  This has nothing to do with individual motivation  There presence somehow produces a consequence for which society more generally benefits  Crime brings together upright conscience and concentrates them. WE have only to notice what happens, particularly in a small town when some moral scandal has just been committed. They stop each other on the street they visit each other; they seek to come together to talk of the event and tow ax indignant in common  When something happens in a small time, people essentially line up to talk to each other, but in all this discussions people are reconnecting with each other and redefine their sediments  Crime is so important for social life that a society without it is impossible  Crime is normal, it isn’t part of a society going haywire, and it is inevitable  There is also going to be small deviations to the rule, even in a perfect world of perfect people  Is it the deviant who is keep the norms, or is it the reaction to the deviant  Why do we produce deviance?  Normal social life cannot exist unless people can periodically and ritualistically celebrate and make themselves aware of the rules we have in common  We are not going to continue believe that we share morals and beliefs with one another, unless we are constantly reminded Ex. Religious ceremonies and funerals are simply there to make social norms cohesive. When we go to a funeral we are celebrating the life of someone who lived similarly to us, so we are also celebrating our own lives  The deviant is a reminder of our common moral sentiments  One of the best know investigations undertaken from this perspective was Kai Erikson’s study of the Massachusetts’s Bay Colony of the 17 Century The problem of boundary maintenance  Sometimes the society can get really confused about what they value, and what their morals really are  Under these conditions it is not unusual to discover some sort of wrongdoer that they appose, and the opposition to the group helps the members of the society reevaluate their moral values, and reevaluate who they are as a group of people  If your sense of a noble and grand spiritual mission is undermined by day- to-day events, what revitalizes it more that the feeling that you are so special then the Devil has comet o get you  As soon as witch accusations began to effect people that were notable members of society, the accusations kind of disappeared  What was going on, was a collective attempt to draw moral boundaries again, to help them understand who they were, what made them unique in the first place  The witches have a sort of elastic sense, because if you are going to have a crime wave, it has to be a type of badness that is going to be able to come and go easily  So with witches, “you’re a witch, no I’m not, yes you are, let’s burn her”  You could produce as many witches as you want because there was no actual criteria to what made you a witch, so people would add and change it as time went along  Deviance appears, we appose it in some sense, and we give some sort of opposition Other functions of deviance  Social cohesion—in support of the deviant—Detler and Erikson  If you have ever been in a work group, and one person in the group who is your friend was clearly inept, how do people typically react?  This person becomes a focal part of the group, in the sense that they are given simple task, the friend gets very defensive, people try to avoid letting the inept friend how “inept” they are  Family member tend to really close ranks around people, they do everything they can to avoid committing a family member  When people share this concern for the family person, people share the fact that it is their moral responsibility to take care of this person  As a focal point of our attention, this person bring the group closer together  Saying deviance is functions is not saying we agree with it, it is simply saying it is ingrained in society  We don’t want to be called liars, but when defining deviance we all lie, and we have come up with a list of reasons to lie  We have to learn what these exceptions are fo
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