Social Control Verses Individuality: Are We Victims of Society?

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Running head: IS THERAPY A FORM OF SOCIAL CONTROL? Social Control verses Individuality: Are We Victims of Society? Social Control verses Individuality: Are We Victims of Society? In this essay it will be shown that normal and abnormal are somewhat hard to define, as everyone tends to have a different view on the definitions. It will be seen that social control or the influence of systems within our society shape and mould how we are as people (Chriss, 2010). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) (as cited in Leckliter & Matarazzo, 1994) is a common book used for the classification of disorders, however when is a disorder a disorder? It will be seen that with the use of the DSM, that therapist’s intervene at different stages of many disorders. Overall, this essay will look at how society, the media and therapists influence and diagnose individuals, but are these diagnoses socially acceptable everywhere? There are many psychological theories and perspectives on how an individual should act, think, talk and overall act normal. However, what is normal compared to abnormal? The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary (1999) states that normal is “conforming to what is usual” and “free from mental or emotional disorders” (p. 548). Abnormal is “different from what is normal” (The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary, 1999, p. 2). Therefore it could be said that everyone lives by a set of standards that society has developed over time. Within these standards we have all decided what is right and wrong, even though these standards may change from race to race or male to female. So is there a balance between social control and individuality or are we all victims of society? Chriss (2010) proposed that social control is the systems and processes within society that everyone conforms to, whether it is by influence or an iron fist. When
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