Deviation Of Social Norms Essay

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The definition of the word abnormal, means deviating from the average norm. If we were to take this literally anybody acting strangely or differently would be considered to be abnormal. This also depends on people’s perceptions as to what is normal. Normal for one culture may be abnormal for another. To look at the definition of abnormality in more detail it’s needed to look at the different definitions of abnormality. There have been four attempts to explain abnormality these are:
Statistical Infrequency
Deviation from social norms
Failure to function adequately
Deviation from ideal-mental health
I will look at two of these definitions in more detail, to establish the strengths and weakness of these definitions. (psychology.about.com)
Deviation from social norms:   A social norm is the guidelines that society sets for acceptable behaviour. Behaviour that deviates from these norms is considered to be abnormal.   In our society we have acceptable behaviours, values and beliefs. Simple things that we do daily without realising ensure we follow these social norms. Eating with a knife and fork, washing, going to work, manners and wearing acceptable clothing. If you were seen to be sat in a restaurant, eating with your fingers, pushing to the front of a cue, talking loudly in a library, not washing and taking care of yourself these actions are not socially acceptable and if a person was to act in this way the behaviour would be seen as abnormal. People who do not follow these social norms are seen as deviant or abnormal. (Class notes)
Some of the rules set in society are explicit, driving on the right side of the road. Paying for goods, not using threatening behaviour or violence to another person. Not adhering to these behaviour’s violates legal norms and is considered criminal. (Psychology AS)
Social norms change over time, and some things that may be considered normal today, possibly were once seen as abnormal. For example in society now we accept two men...

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