Outline and Evaluate One or More Definitions of Abnormality

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  • Topic: Sociology, Deviance, Psychology
  • Pages : 2 (520 words )
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  • Published : February 26, 2012
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Outline and evaluate one or more definitions of abnormality (12)

Deviation from social norms is one definition of abnormality, according to this definition you are considered to be 'abnormal' if you engage in a behaviour that the rest of society does not as society has accepted specific patterns of behaviour that they consider to be 'normal' such as being polite, going to work and education and more.

There are unwritten social rules that we have to stick to, these rules care culturally relative this means that they change from society to society. What may be considered 'normal' in one culture may not in another. These rules are also era dependant this means that they can also change over time for example in the early 20th century being homosexual may have been considered to be 'abnormal' but now society accepts different sexualities. Because of this we need to continually review the definition of 'normal' and 'abnormal' mental health. Behaviours that could be classified as deviating from social norms could be issues such as: depression, abnormal eating patterns, low moods, compulsions, anxiety, depression, paranoid, PTSD, mood disorders, delusions. All of these behaviours require intervention and treatment as soon as possible after the symptoms are spotted.

Under this definition social deviance is considered to be abnormal if this is the case all criminals should not be held fully responsible for their actions and should be able to plead 'diminished responsibilities'. So therefore their punishment would be less severe this would lead to an unmanageable justice system. Social deviance is subjective, therefore what is classified as 'deviant' varies from therapist to therapist. This leads to inconsistency in diagnosis. Subcultures within society affect behaviours so what is normal in Plymouth may not be in London. This views social deviance as not necessarily a bad thing as it is culturally relative and era dependant. This definition of abnormality is...
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