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SOC 2070 (342)

Class #2 January 16

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SOC 2070
Linda Hunter

Week Two Communities are Boundary Maintaining y Every community occupies a specific space in the world geographically and culturally which marks it as a special place a reference point for its members y A community maintains boundaries in the sense that its members tend to confine and limit themselves to a certain range of conduct and behavior y Human communities maintain boundaries for the following reasons o To retain a given pattern of consistent activity and behavior o To make possible a degree of stability o To retain cultural integrity y People in community spend majority of time with each other y Each person has a specific territory and a roleMarking and Publicizing Boundaries y How do people learn about boundaries How do they convey them to the next generation y The only material for marking boundaries is members behavior the networks of social interaction and relationships between members y The deviant is a person whose activities have moved outside the margins of the group y But the most critical for publicizing boundaries are those which take place between deviant persons and official agents of the community including o Criminal trialspunishment executions o Courtsmartial o Psychiatric determinations of sanity y Erikson states that newspapers and radio and television and internet offer much the same kind of entertainment as public hangings which cannot be done any more so media has replaced it o Helps people feel normal by reading about these crazy situations and realize they would not act in that wayBoundaries are not fixed and constant for the following reasons y Over time there are changes in group structure and leadership y Changes in the surrounding environment y The new generation may challenge the old GuardDeviance serves a positive function for community y Every public censure of a deviant act provides the community with opportunity to restate the groups boundaries in a positive function of the community y Deviant forms of behaviour mark the outer edges of a groups life and give the inner structure its special character y People develop an orderly sense of their own cultural identity y Deviance affirms cultural values and norms y Responding to deviance clarifies social boundaries and promotes social unity y Deviance encourages social change y Communities tend to draw the line of what should belong and what should not
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