Support the Claim That Deviance Is a Social Construction

Topics: Sociology, Erving Goffman, Social philosophy Pages: 2 (568 words) Published: November 24, 2006
Support the claim that deviance is a social construction

Deviance must have 3 things, expectation (the rules that society create), Violation, Reaction (society reacts, what are the consequences)
Supporting that deviance is socially constructed recognizes that people can only understand the world in terms of words and categories that they create and share with one another.
This understanding comes about by assigning meaning to these words and categories and interpreting these meanings in a social context.
Merton locates the root of deviance in the social structure of society, but not within the individual. Social structures create a condition in which the individuals learn what good things society has to offer, and how to legitimately, or legally, attain them; if the individual attains these items legitimately, then he conforms, if he attains them illegitimately, then he is deviant.

When people have a steak in conformity, they are less likely to behave defiantly. The self is a social process. It enables human action.
The "social self" is a two part relationship consisting of the "I" and "Me". The "I" looks inward at how a person perceives them self and the "Me" looks outward studying how others perceive them.

An individual can influence how people view them; this is called the "presentation of self"-how will you let others perceive you, based on how you present yourself. It can be the way you dress, talk, or act.

This is important to understand when studying deviance because based on how a person presents them self, they will be labeled. They could be labeled normal, deviant, or anything else based on how they present them self. According to Erving Goffman, "stigma refers to an attribute that is deeply discrediting." Would Goffman agree that a major depressive disorder that is managed by medication is a deeply discrediting attribute? Support your answer from Goffman's point of view. Yes, Goffman would agree with that statement. Goffman would...
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