Society creates Deviance | INFJ Forum

Society creates Deviance

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Satya, Mar 23, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Society establishes the norms.

    The norms divide people into two groups, the conformers and the deviants.

    Society then enforcers the norms by using religious, legal, or medical entities to label deviants as immoral, criminal, or sick.

    As such, deviants serve an essential function to society because they play a social role as the "warning examples" and thereby promote social cohesion and stability among the rest of the population because their very existence is seen as proof of the need for the dominant values in society.

    If enough deviants of a particular norm exist, then a subculture forms to fight the labels.

    In order to do so, they usually must create their own label for themselves in order to establish their own identity separate of the labels that portray them as immoral, criminal, and sick.

    Society is eventually forced to confront the subculture and defend the norms it established. Social conflict ensues.

    Eventually the subculture will be destroyed by society or society will change the established norms.


    This is briefly the view of sociology on deviance. Do you disagree? Do you believe that deviance is somehow innate? Do you believe there is a deviant "personality" (evil)? Does holding to this sociological view mean seeing values as relative to time and culture?
     
  2. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    This is the Realistic (scientific) approach. I agree with it completely.

    It's also the one primarily used when developing political strategies.
     
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  3. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Norms are necessary in any society - take this forum, for example. In recent times a norm emerged that critiques should be leveled against ideas/opinions/statements but not against individuals.

    How do we handle people who would say that personal attacks are part of bread and butter discussions? I think that we could rightly insist that we don't want personal attacks, for the sake of peace and respect.

    However, peace and respect cannot be enforced at the expense of freedom. So I think the running of societies is the art of establishing/enforcing legitimate/reasonable norms, while at the same time keeping some relatively arbitrary ones which serve to reinforce the society's sense/estimation of freedom by occasionally being relaxed. For example, fireworks are forbidden in my home state, except on the weekend of the Queen's birthday and on some rare occasions.
     
  4. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    XSTJs. Well, not deviant, but certainly evil.
     
  5. OP
    Satya

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    How do you determine what norms are "legitimate" and "reasonable"?
     
  6. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    It is determined by the traditions, ethics, religious beliefs and history of any society during a certain period.

    Social values change during the course of any society's history, thus frequently changing the content of "legitimate" and "reasonable" norms.
     
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  7. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    So Nazi ethics and traditions are "reasonable and legitimate?"

    They were the region + time period's "norms."
     
  8. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    Deviance is socially defined. Humans are not actively deviant; they do so as an a coping strategy. The vast majority of people would fit fairly well into the ideal if they had the resources to do so.
     
  9. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    If you were asking that question to an SS officer, he would most probably answer "Yes". Do not judge a society based on what your society considers reasonable.
     
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  10. Duty

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    Just because someone would say it's ok doesn't mean it is.

    I have a hard time believing there isn't some hint of objectivity when I say that genocide and systematic torture of a culture are not legitimate moral actions.
     
  11. PsilocinProject

    PsilocinProject Community Member

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    Godwin's Law applies here.
    Your argument is void. =P
     
  12. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    500 hundred years ago, you could be executed for believing so. In fact, If you were living in a society which had extreme religious ideas as a motivational force, you could still be executed, even today.

    For todays western societies, ideas of genocide and systematic torture are enough to get you imprisoned.
     
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  13. Duty

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    Godwin's law only applies when you're calling someone a Nazi or Hitler. I'm using it as a legitimate counterexample to an argument. :p
     
  14. PsilocinProject

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    You could have used The Crusades as an example, for example.
     
  15. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    ;) Godwins law is when you are stating a reductio ad hitlerum: Hitler did X, so X must be evil.

    But I get your point. :p
     
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  16. Duty

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    So if a society believes it, then it's ok for that society?

    What if a society believes that it is morally right to believe that: "If a society believes it to be morally right, then it is not morally right for that society?" A society would take this proposition to be both morally right and not morally right at the same time. This of course is a contradiction, and it seems that the original proposition (If a society believes X, then X is morally right for that society) falls in a contradictory counterexample.


    Plus, it is awfully arbitrary to say who is a member of that society and who is not. Is it defined by regional proximity? In that case, a law in Nazi Germany would have been, "Don't kill other Germans," and any Jewish members living within the regional proximity (Germany) would, by the above definition, been Germans. If it is defined by racial heritage, then I'd like someone to decipher the mess of mixed race peoples and areas like the US which have a very wide range of different races. Is it then ok to apply one set of societal standards on one race in the area while applying another set on other race? It still doesn't seem right in that case.

    So who counts as part of a culture to apply these culturally subjective standards to?


    Wouldn't you agree that there is, somewhere, an objective standard to judge ethical standards by? It seems that an ideal objective standard includes:
    1. A base and simple set of just (just meaning: applying to all rational persons equally) laws that arbitrate disagreements between individuals and subsets (subcultures) of a society: basic rules of right to life, freedom, and property.
    2. These laws allow rational persons the freedom to move from subculture to subculture freely...so any "extra" laws would be by choice of the rational individual.


    This just allows the choice of culture and laws beyond the basic laws that apply to all to be chosen by the individual. The problem with societies of the past and even today is that they impose a gross amount of laws and standards that are encroachment on many inherent rights of human beings...such as religious choice.
     
  17. OP
    Satya

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    Perhaps I should give some examples for people to mull over. Sexual deviance seems to be a particularly sensitive area, so in classic Satya fashion, I think that is what I will use. (Some of the facts below are sourced from this link)

    Until early in our century the Siwans in Northern Africa expected all "normal" males to engage in homosexual intercourse, and they regarded those who refused to do so as peculiar or "queer". In contrast, the Rwala Bedouins, who lived on the Arabic peninsula, considered homosexual practices to be so "abnormal" and outrageous, that they put the participants to death.

    Back in
    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Sans-serif,sans-serif]Victorian times "normal" women were not supposed to have orgasms. Those who did have them or who insisted on them were often branded as loose, immoral, and even sick. Today it is the nonorgasmic woman who is considered "abnormal", "dysfunctional", or "inadequate", and who is offered treatment.

    Back in ancient Rome, beastiliality was considered a privilege of the wealthy and elite. In the modern day, it is a felony in most states and considered something only "backroad rednecks" would do.

    [/FONT]Also in modern American society, there is a very pronounced social norm against adults having sexual relations with children, and yet back in Ancient Greece and in Edo period Japan, sexual relations between adults and children were not uncommon and sometimes were even encouraged as a part of the practice of pedestry.

    So what would be the "reasonable" and "legitmate" norms?


    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Geneva,Sans-serif,sans-serif]

    [/FONT]
     
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  18. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    You're making many mistakes here. However, I understand your frustration. Let me explain.

    This is not maths. Societies aren't logical. They have never been, and they still aren't. Even if a society accepted that value, it doesn't matter if it is contradictory. Values have little to do with logic.

    That depends on the scientist and the subject he is researching.


    What you don't understand is that a scientist doesn't even care to judge a society based on what he considers ethical. He studies the social structure in order to understand it, to understand why it changed, how it changed, to find any similarities to his own social enviroment. He is called to understand that society. After understanding it, he might go on and proppose solutions based on his observations, and that's where he will judge (always subjectively) whether that particular social system is "right" or "wrong" regarding a specific matter. If he goes even further and propposes a new social-political system, then he jumps from sociology to philosophy.

    Whether or not there are objective ethical criteria is the subject of philosophy, not politics or sociology.
     
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  19. Duty

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    We're not discussing science...we're discussing ethics/political philosophy. The question was:

    Your reply was:

    This suggests a "cultural relativity" position of ethics. I responded with objections appropriate to the responses.
     
  20. OP
    Satya

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    Duty,

    Since you are arguing for "objective" norms, I would love to hear your responses to the sexual norms I posted. What means would you utilize to determine "objective" norms in those cases?
     
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