Midterm

Topics: Sociology / Pages: 10 (2323 words) / Published: Oct 18th, 2013
1. Compare the absolutist, relativist, and social power perspectives. Which perspective do you believe would best describe your approach to deviance? Why would you choose this approach? Which of these approaches exhibits the most respect for deviant’s choice of behavior? The absolutist perspective, dominated by religious settings, hold that deviance is universal and what is wrong in one place, is wrong everywhere. This tactic to describing deviance rests on the supposition that all human behavior can be considered either innately good or innately bad. Deviant acts come to define the individual’s character and can often be based on stereotypes i.e., all parents who spank are abusing their children or all Muslims are terrorists. The absolutist perspective assumes an extensive unanimity over definitions of deviance, universal norms, and taboos. Durkheim said that social laws replicate unbiased facts integrated into functionalist notions of deviance. This perspective maintains that deviance is pathological and an objective fact. Deviance is considered unethical and reproachful of social order, requiring unyielding, retributory measures.
The relativist perspective maintains that the definition of deviance vary to suite the people who hold them. According to this theory, social groups generate deviance by creating rules that define deviance and relating them to a particular group or society of people. This methodology to outlining deviance rests on the postulation that deviance is socially created. Similar acts committed at different times, or under different conditions may or may not be measured as deviant. What is considered deviant changes based on the time and place, and athwart history and cultures. There are four positive functions from deviance that the relativist perspective points out. Retorts against deviance can bring people together. Think back to the Columbine Massacre, many people were united in sorrow and grief, not only in Colorado, but

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