Discuss two or more definitions of abnormality (12 marks) One definition of abnormality is “deviation from social norms” and under this definition a person’s thinking or behaviour is classified as abnormal if it violates the unwritten rules about what is expected or acceptable behaviour in a particular social group. Behaviour may be incomprehensible to others or make others feel threatened or uncomfortable. For example, someone would be classified as being abnormal if they laughed at a funeral, as this is socially unacceptable. A weakness of this definition is that it lacks cultural relativity as social behaviour varies when different cultures are compared. For e.g.
Abnormality arises when a person deviates from the norm, or what is usual. Social norms define accepted, desirable and expected ways in which members of society ought to behave. One approach to identifying abnormality is noticing people who behave in a socially deviant and apparently incomprehensible way. This is therefore regarded as abnormal behaviour because they don’t fit with the expectations of society. For example, a customary behaviour is that people come to work wearing clothes, so if someone then arrives at work naked, they would be seen as abnormal.
This study shows that in some societies an act can be labeled as deviant but not in others, this shows that labeling theory fails to explain who or how acts are decided as deviant. Second criticism of the labelling theory is that is possible to reject your label. Becker said that once a person is labeled and accepts that behavior all their other qualities become irrelevant and the label become their master status. However there are example where people rejected their label. Reiss's 1961 studied young male prostitutes.
Examples of domestic normalities would be how people within the UK will automatically queue when waiting for something or apologise immediately when colliding with another. There are medical social abnormalities as well, Schizophrenia, kleptomania and obsessive compulsive disorder. However when diagnosing psychological abnormalities the context of the behaviour and cultural relativity must be taken into account. For example cultural beliefs have a heavy influence over what a certain countries consider to be socially unacceptable or abnormal. Queuing for instance, while completely acceptable in the United Kingdom, isn’t as heavily practiced in other countries as it isn’t deemed necessary and it wouldn’t be considered strange to not queue.
Outline and Evaluate Attempts to define Abnormality (12marks) Deviation from social norms is the acceptable behavior in given societies, these are not formal laws but implicit e.g., appropriate displays of affection. If it breaks these boundaries I is known as anti-social or abnormal in the eyes of that society. Deviation from Ideal mental health is indent in 6 categories: self-attitudes, personal growth, integration, autonomy, and accurate perception of reality and mastery of the environment. Jahoda (1958) defined physical illness but the absence of physical health e.g. normal temperature, blood pressure, skin color.
The main point that Merton’s theory outlines is the fact that people engage in deviant behaviour because they are unable to achieve socially approved goals by legitimate means, and when most people share similar goals for example financial success in an unequal society not all individuals have the opportunity to achieve those goals through approved means, therefore they feel different, as the dominant rules on how to achieve success don’t meet their needs, and as a result deviance occurs. People may become frustrated and resort to criminal means of getting what they want, or lash out in anger, or find comfort for their failures in drug use. Merton’s explanation of crime and deviance combines two elements: Structural factors – society’s unequal opportunity structure and cultural factors – the strong emphasis on success goals and the weaker emphasis of using legitimate means to get them. For Merton, deviance is the result of a strain between two things: the goals that a culture encourages individuals to achieve and what the institutional structure of society allows them to achieve. Merton argues that there are different ‘modes of adaptation’, or responses to situations and access to opportunities that range from conformity – individuals accept the culturally approved
Drabble is correct to argue that people tend to ignore truth in order to follow societal standards. In today's world it is often difficult to adjust to one type of lifestyle or another. The constant bombardments of outside opinions hamper our ability to choose and be comfortable with a certain way of living. Therefore, blind conformity is actually a molding of what is said to be normal in society instead of using differences to enhance humans. The malicious acts committed by Malcolm X reflect the idea that people ignore truth to conform to society.
Sometimes it can cause a person to lose their sense of purpose in this world and forgetting that God put us all here for a reason. Some people also tend to believe that if you don’t fit in with society that you are not “normal”, the crazy thing is some people are built to not fit in, and we as people have to learn to accept that. Both of these stories ended in misfortune. The society that surrounds you can cause you to blind yourself with the need to fit in which can and will cause an identity issue, but we have to figure is do we have more Evil in us than
Part A Otherness is the process when a group of people single out another person or a group of people based on their perceived differences from them. The singled out group or person (the “others”) could be different because of their sex, skin color, religion or anything else that is different from the people who are doing the “othering.” However, being different doesn’t necessarily mean you are being othered. Othering occurs when you are teased, belittled, or otherwise rejected from general society because of your differences. Part C - Analysis of “The White House” by Claude McKay Claude McKay’s “The White House” introduces us to how the author experienced othering based on his skin color. He clearly states in lines 13 and 14, “Oh, I must keep my heart inviolate against the potent poison of your hate” (McKay, n.d., line 13 and 14) how he feels the hate coming from the people around him.
According to Webster’s Dictionary (2011) disparity is defined as the lack of similarity or equality and the state of being different or dissimilar. There are many factors having disparity towards others within the criminal justice system that can include a person’s criminal history such as a drug dealer or sex offender and even a person’s social class. In criminal justice disparity means that there is a difference, but that that difference does not automatically mean discrimination (Walker, 2010). Disparity can affect any individual due to their sex, ethnic group, religion, and even their position in the workplace. A person could state that disparity is used because they differ from other individuals.