Definitions of Abnormality

Good Essays
Topics: Sociology, Norm
Lorelle Hathaway
Discuss one or more definition of abnormality.

Abnormality is defined by society and the general public as to what differs from the normal standard fully functioning way of living. Each of us has unique behaviour that means we can stray easily from social norms but does that make us abnormal?

The definition of Abnormality is a deviation from social norms which means that the individual’s behaviour is not similar to the general public which ultimately means that they cannot function in society as others do. This can cause them to be isolated or frowned upon by society for behaving in a certain way that is not a social norm. These norms are what define the social active and standard person they also cause us to follow one another in behaviour so each individual abides by an invisible code of social norms. For example if a person was to start horrifically screaming and laughing at intervals while head-butting a shop window would in the eyes of the public be seen as abnormal or simply crazy and this person would not fit into the social norms which means they are deviating from them. However the average reasonable man could also deviate from social norms for example just because someone does not conform to societies’ rules this does not necessarily make them mad, they may just be a grumpy teenager. What really matters is the context of the behavior that could be understood which provides reasoning for the abnormal behavior which is actually very accepted in society for example if you saw a person dressed as a gorilla you would question their intentions but if they told you they were going to a fancy dress party then there would be a reason for the deviation.

Failure to function adequately: under this definition, a person is considered abnormal if they are unable to cope with the demands of everyday life. They may be unable to perform the behaviors necessary for day-to-day living e.g. self-care, hold down a job, interact meaningfully with

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