What are the societal benefits of deviance? Deviance clarifies norms by defending its values via social control; society establishes, changes, and confirms norms. Deviance can function as a temporary safety valve. Deviance strengthens a society's or group's togetherness. And finally, deviance can inspire new ideas and innovations.
Why do some people choose to be deviant? Some people choose to be deviant to protest against established authority or social expectations. Other people choose to be deviant because it provides them with a sense of freedom or identity. Still others choose to be deviant because it brings them money or attention. The most common reasons for being deviant are listed below:
To provoke a reaction from authorities. This can serve to draw attention to a cause or issue.
To express one's individuality or break with convention. This may be done deliberately for shock value or unintentionally due to a lack of judgment.
To receive recognition from peers or establish oneself as someone who is not like other people. This may be done deliberately for fame or influence or unintentionally due to ability or talent.
To meet personal goals. This may be done voluntarily to achieve something interesting or exciting or involuntarily due to circumstances beyond your control.
To avoid punishment. This may be done deliberately to escape justice or occur accidentally when trying to evade arrest.
Deviance has various purposes: (a) it clarifies standards and encourages compliance, (b) it creates social relationships among those reacting to the deviant, and (c) it can aid in the advancement of constructive social change. Social control through the threat of punishment or promotion of reward can be used by society as a whole, by an organization, or by an individual. Thus, crime serves to maintain order by establishing societal norms and providing a mechanism for resolving disputes.
The most common forms of social control are legal and illegal punishment. An act that violates social norms may have consequences that affect only the actor or also others. Illegal punishments include jail time and imprisonment, while legal punishments include fines and community service. The severity of these consequences depends on the law involved; for example, prison time is more severe than a fine. Individuals may also use threats or bribes to influence others' behavior. For example, an employer may threaten to fire an employee if they do not get another job quickly enough. Groups can be more effective at influencing behavior than individuals, so organizations can use policies and procedures to encourage desired behaviors and discourage undesirable ones. For example, a company can require all employees to wear name tags to make it easier to identify who is responsible for errors.
Social control also involves promoting desirable behaviors and deterring people from engaging in harmful acts.
Positive deviance has an influence on society as a whole since it improves people, communities, and society's greater culture. Positive deviance affects society in three ways: by helping those in need, by inspiring others, and by encouraging positive behavior.
People benefit from positive deviance because they can learn from its examples. For example, people can learn not to drink alcohol excessively by observing Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). People also benefit when positive deviants do well because it gives hope that good things can happen for others. Finally, people enjoy positive deviance because it is good to be around people who are happy and successful. They give us hope that we can have good times too.
Positive deviance influences society's greater culture by encouraging people to be more open-minded and tolerant. In other words, it promotes diversity and allows different ideas to be heard; this is important for improving life in society.
Finally, positive deviance encourages positive behavior because it shows that success does not depend on what category you fall into but rather how hard you work until you succeed. For example, a person who is positive deviant would never think about abusing drugs or alcohol because they know it is not helpful for achievement.
Deviance provides a way in which some individuals and groups can introduce their agendas to the rest of society and elevate their own personal status while doing it. Systems of deviance create norms and tell members of a given society how to behave by laying out patterns of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. 3-avg, 2015.
As previously said, deviation is widely regarded as disruptive in society. It has the potential to erode existing social standards while also causing division and disruption. However, it also serves other purposes that are not necessarily detrimental and may even be useful to society. It is one method of bringing about societal change. Further, deviation allows for new ideas to be tested under non-standard conditions. This can lead to the identification of better solutions than those which would have been found otherwise.
In conclusion, deviation is necessary for progress to occur in society. Without it, we would still be living in the Middle Ages with no indication that we were ever near modern times.
Functions of Deviance Affirmation of cultural norms and values: Seeing someone penalized for aberrant conduct reinforces what a society deems acceptable and undesirable behavior. Deviance can also urge the dominant culture to examine alternative norms and values, so promoting social change. Offending others for being different: Being singled out as unusual or wrong encourages people not to challenge the status quo. It is therefore an important part of identity formation.
Penalizing deviants promotes social cohesion by keeping individuals in line and preventing them from disturbing the status quo. The more severe the punishment, the better this function works; but even a small penalty can serve as a deterrent if enough people know about it. For example, when an athlete or actor is caught cheating on an exam or movie set, they risk being expelled or losing their job. This can be a strong deterrent for others who might want to cheat in the first place.
By definition, deviance is conduct that violates standards of behavior set by society at large. So, to answer our question, punishment of deviance serves to uphold the existing social order by discouraging other such conduct.