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Unit three.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Andrew Robinson

Unit three: Chapter three Social Constructionist Theories of Social Deviance  Social constructionists are known for probing deeply behind the conventions and common sense norms of society to attempt to discover the reasons why we believe as a product of our social interaction.  Social constructionism is very important because it demonstrates how symbols can move people: turning a piece of cloth into a flag, for instance. The Subjective  “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”  This would relate to both imaginary deviance and labeling and is a key part of social constructionism as well as Symbolic Interactionism  In the same Interactive tradition comes Labelling Theory: It is more of a perspective than a theory or paradigm.  It basically says that people do different things often because they are labeled differently. The Structural  Structural theories explain individual behaviour and thoughts by the actions of large groups and institutions, ultimately saying that the individual is created by society  Emile Durkheim’s paradigm sometimes called social realism, promotes the idea that society creates all ideas and societies need for social solidarity comes first before individual needs and decisions.  Conflict theory in contrast suggests that social order is imposed on the powerless by the powerful for their own interests Labeling Theory  The causes of primary deviance are polygenetic and can happen for more than one reason.  If caught and condemned, the person is labeled as deviant, and hobbled with this identity of stigma  They will often have to commit additional acts if deviance; this is called secondary deviance Deviance as a Cause of Social Solidarity  Emile Durkheim developed the idea that deviance can also be seen as a cause of conformity and solidarity  Emile Durkheim can be considered both a positivist and a social constructionist: Durkheim would say that sometimes a little deviance is necessary or normal if it reminds us to our values, and that deviance can be normal and pathological if it threatebed society’s social solidarity and order.  Durkeim would reject the notion that deviance is to be explained psychologically by innate factors within the individual.  Durkheim pointed out that if everyone became law-abiding we would then need stricter laws until more popele became criminals—it is our condemnation of rule breakers that reassures us that we are good people and keeps us united Structural- Functionalism—The Epitome of Consensus  The Structural-Functionalist paradigm was founded in the 30s by Talcott Parsons, and developed later by Robert Merton.  It is assumed that the reason things happen in a society is that they benefit someone, even if this benefit is obscure.  Structural Functionalusts would say that people do things because they are motivated to do so  The mainstream Structural Functionalist paradigm of Parsons would say that sometimes our deviance h
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