Perhaps the biggest positive function of deviance is that it acts as a catalyst of social change as Durkheim points out (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004: 333), virtually all forms of social change start from deviance since deviance goes against what is the norm. A certain amount of change is good for society and necessary for its continued survival (Haralambos and Holborn, 2004: 333), without social change, there is no social progress thus society becomes stagnant. An example of deviance which has led to positive social change can be seen in the struggle against apartheid; activists like Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo had to partake in activities which can be defined as deviant, through their deviant acts however they managed to bring about a better more equal South African society. If they had conformed to the norms of that particular period and had sat back and left the status quo as it was then nothing would have changed. Deviance is therefore a... [continues]
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