Thisassignment will critically discuss the relationship between rules, norms, anddeviance. Functionalist, Marxist, and Feminist theories will be used to showthe different viewpoints on how the three notions of rules, norms and deviancerelate. Two case studies; (Paradise Papers, 2017) https://www.
theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2017/nov/11/paradise-papers-whos-who-leak-offshore-secrets (HarveyWeinstein , 2017) http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/06/opinions/harvey-weinstein-threadgould/index.html , will be used to steer the direction of thediscussion and show different arguments.
Rules, norms, and deviance have a homogeneous relationship. It isimpossible to discuss one without discussing the other. It is almost impracticableto formulate one without drawing from the other. Rules, norms, and deviancehave a correlative relationship.Rulesare principles that are put in place by government state or those in charge ofa country, a group of people and institutions within a society. Rules aredesigned to create structural order within society. Social rules include norms,folkways, mores, coded laws, regulations, customs, and taboos which all helpsociety function.
There are formal and informal rules to follow. Folkways based on everyday norms, which arecultural customs regarding practical matters. This could be acceptable clothingand politeness. Mores are moral injunctions that society sees as taboo likeincest. The informal norms would get the response of anger, disappointment, ostracism,and rejection. The informal rules, once broken would have moral consequences.
Codified laws are norms that focus on explicit codes and enforced by governmentbodies. Departure from customary coded rules will incur sanctions that willinvolve police, judges, and prosecutor.(Rommetveit,1955), (Thibaut and Kelley, 1959) argue that social control refers to wayssociety prevents and tries to sanction behavior that violates norms. Rules areoften broken due to individuals having different opinions and values.
Rules varyand tend to change from one society to another. (Black ,1976) stated that thereare four categories of rules, they define deviance and all four responds todeviance in a different manner. Societies have implemented rules that regulatessociety behaviors to control conformity with existing norms. There is a penalrule which is a formal rule, once violated the deviant person would bepunished. Secondlycompensatory rules where a deviant person would need to compensate for thecrime. Thirdly therapeutic rules which help a deviant person to return tonormal state. Lastly Conciliatory social rules which help those in dispute restore a mutualsocial relationship that had been broken down.
Foucault (2007) argues thatduring the period of early modernity onward, European society became moreconcerned with rules as a practice of government. He stated that government donot refer to the activities of the state, instead the government refers to thepractices by which individuals or organizations seek to govern the behaviors ofothers or themselves, government uses the strategies which one seeks direct orguide the conduct of another. Rules define what deviance is, concurrently rulesare made from norms.Norms arean acceptable standard or a way of behaving that a society agrees with. Normsare something considered normal by most people in a society. It is not the normfor individuals to walk in public singing aloud, to do so would be viewed asout of the norm, even though there is no rule stating that its forbidden.
Normsare made up of a societies customs, morality, religion, and other practices. Anotherview on norms is the relationship between normative beliefs and behavior, insome cases norms are identify with observable, recurrent patterns of anindividual behavior. There is also the focus of normative beliefs andexpectations. However, it is extremely difficult to explain the observedvariance in norm-induced behavior, which can only explain conformity that ismostly partial, having behavioral account of norms is difficult to support, asnormative beliefs alone will not support a norm. There are three main establishedtheories of conformity: socialization, social identity, and rational choice. (Parson1951) suggests that a norm is “a verbal description of a concrete course ofaction…, regarded as desirable, combined with an injunction to make certainfuture actions, conform to this course”.
Parson (1937, pg75) argued that normsplay a significant role regarding an individual’s choice by shaping theindividual needs and preferences. Tajfel (1981, pg.255) stated that socialidentity is “that part of an individual’s self- concept which derives fromtheir knowledge of their membership of social group or groups, together withthe value and emotional significance attached to that membership”. The rational choice provides conformityto a norm that attracts approval and transgression disapproval, to conformwould be the rational thing to do, seeing that no onewould wilfully attract discredit and punishment to themselves. Schelling (1978) suggests that it is best to look at thecondition under which norms come into being, as norms are there to represent asolution to the problem of attaining and maintaining order in society. Mackie(1996) argues that if norms can thrive and spread, it is possible for norms todecease.
A misunderstood idea isunexpected change of well-established pattern of behavior.Devianceis the result of discrepancies between society and individuals, where rules andnorms are disregarded. Deviance is none normative, a departure from customarynorms beyond approved limits. It is a violation of norms depending oncontextual definitions, people’s response to a behavior and the situation.
Accordingto Sumner (1955) Deviance is a violation of existing contextual, cultural, orsocial norms. Functionalists argue that deviance is a social creation and is ‘normal.’ Society needs deviance as it is almostimpossible to have a society without deviance. Durkheim (1958-1917) stated that deviance camefrom society and is visible throughout all societies, having ‘too much’ deviancecould threaten social order. Durkheim (1895/1962) explains that there are reasonswhy society needs deviance. The collective conscience, is never strong enoughto overcome rule breaking, even in a “society of saints,” such as monastery.
Once rules are broken, negative social reactions are aroused. Functionalism stated that deviance isinevitable, and is a normal part of a healthy society. Functionalists arguethat there are two ways that deviance is relative in space, some behaviors maybe considered deviant in one society but acceptable in another. Secondlydeviance is relative in time, where a behavior was considered deviant at one time,but acceptable later, or was accepted earlier but deviant years later. Becker (1963,pg.9) “Deviance is not a quality of the act the person commits, but rather aconsequence of the application by others of rules or sanctions to an “offender”The deviant is one who is marked as such and the label has been successfullyapplied.Functionalistsargue that deviant behaviors play an important and active, constructive role ineach society by helping to cohere different populations within a society.
Deviancehelps to separate what is acceptable and what’s unacceptable behavior. It drawslines and creates boundaries, it is a function that affirms cultural values andnorms of a society, for the members of the society. Schoepflin (2011) stated thatfunctionalism recognizes a positive contribution of deviance that createssocial change.
For example, Rosa Park refused to sit in blacksegregated area on a bus, her action was deviant but was viewed as a positiveact even though it violated social norm. By clarifying the moralboundaries of society, deviant behavior can bring social unity. Deviance is oneway for society to be changed over time. Deviant behaviors can bring animbalance to the social equilibrium, however in the process society can restorea balance and be adjusted to the norms. While there are social change happeningthrough deviance, the deviant behavior can help to sort out a long term socialstability. A functionalist observation of Harvey Weinstein’s actions would lookat them in positive regards. As savage as they are they expose a criminal,challenge behaviors, question an overbearing authority a patriarchal communityas Hollywood has over women.
It also encourages other women to question maledominance. Regardingthe ‘Paradise Papers’ Durkheim argues that paying taxes is part of an organicsolidarity. Whereby there is social unity, as everyone needs depend on eachother for society to function. Durkheim would argue avoidance of tax payingwould result in the division of labor not surviving within a society. Durkheimwould argue that capitalist run the society, where they determine where thetaxes get spend. It is essential that all individuals working pay their taxesas the government uses these funds for things like; National Health Service,Education, and the Police.
Durkheim would argue tax avoidance could be pathological. Clinard and Meier (2001: v) stated thatthrough observation, “often any consensus that has appeared to exist has beenthe result of political, social and economic powers of groups that havesucceeded in imposing on others their views of what constitutes deviance”. Quinney (1970) argued that “society ischaracterized by diversity, conflict, coercion and change, rather thanconsensus and stability. In such an environment definition of deviance reflectsthose with the greatest social power.” Parsons also a functionalist would arguethat paying tax is a social role that is internalized by citizens. He explainsby paying tax or avoidance of tax paying should be understood through AGILmodel, stating that for individuals to survive there is four functionalprerequisites that social system need to fulfil.
‘Adaptation’ to theenvironment which could be economic production, ‘goal attainment’ goals ofequality and universal rights. ‘Integration’ this is done through integrationinto the societal community, through enforcing society’s collective norms. Lastly’Latency’ is the intergenerational way of processing society shared valuesthrough socialization.
This ensure that the value of society shows individualbehavior and social action. Parson, (1971:10-15).Marxisttheorists (conflict theory) argue that social and economic factors cause crimeand deviance. These factors are negative functions of society, as they areevidence of inequality in the system. They challenge other theories like’control theory’ arguing that they ignore racial and socioeconomic issues andoversimplify social trends. Akers (1991). Marx argued that there are two socialgroups ‘the proletariat and the bourgeois.
‘ The bourgeois are wealthy,controlling all the means of production while the proletariat, workers rely onthe means of production for survival. Marx explains the bourgeois ownership,means they control and regulate society, from laws, to government. Marxistsargue that the capitalist designs rules, norms, and deviance. Defining social laws requires power, rulesbecome tools used by the elite to maintain control. A campaign rally and a politicalprotest are the same thing. The difference lies in that the protest is definedas deviant because it is unsanctioned by those in power.
Marxists argue thatthe elite desire to subdue the lower class and use rules and norms to do so aswell as gain a profit this causes deviance within society. Marx (1964:64)stated that “Human beings are an ensemble of social relations.” Whatis worth noting is there is a weakness with the conflict theory in that it failsto consider the elite being criminals themselves. Paradise papers exposes the elite,the wealthy hiding money in tax havens.
This is fraudulent, greed drives theirdeviance. Their power allows them to get away with it. There is blue colorcrime and what drives such criminals is different from the poor. Therelationship between rules, norms and deviance becomes challenging to clarify.An elite world living by their own set of rules. Atkinson argues, “We argue thatobjectives of city success have come to be identified and aligned with thepresence of wealth elites while wider goals, of access to essential resourcesfor citizens, have withered.
” Atkinson et al, 2017: 179) Marxists argue thatthis disparity is the main cause of deviance in society. Feministsargue that men create the rules for women to abide by. Making those rulesrequire power which man possess in a patriarchal society, they decide the norm.
Feminist theory argues that a woman who has committed a deviant act is oftenseen as double deviant, as they have broken the law that society has set, andthey have broken the gender norms which is the ‘appropriate’ female behavior.The double standard explains the tendency to medicalize a woman deviance,stating that it is a product of physiological or psychiatric pathology. Kramar,(2011) stated that a “good” middle and upper- class woman who was starting tohave the benefits of independence from men, would turn to stealing indepartment stores, this activity was done in the 19th century and wasdiagnosed as an illness of the “weaker sex”.
Thegender differences revolve around patriarchal attitudes toward women, alsodismissing the matters that need to be considered regarding private or domesticnature. Gilman, 1911 stated that women live in a fabricated world which iscalled “androcentric culture”, in which one sex ‘the man’ is most accepted andthe women is consider as a ‘sub-species. This would explain why men have ‘monopolizedall human ventures. The way women are viewed in society by men as an object. DeBeauvoir 1949/1953: pg.16, 291 stated that men do not define women as herselfbut in relation to a man, not regarding women as autonomous beings. She is onlydifferentiated with reference to a man, but never the other way around. She isthe incidental and the inessential as opposed to the essential, the man isviewed as the subject and the absolute.
The woman would need to accept herselfas the other, though the men could accept a woman as equal, they would requireof them to remain the inessential. HarveyWeinstein (2017) sexually abused multiple woman. He abused his power in a maledominated environment, using his influence and resources to either better an actresscareer or ruin it.
He typifies a society that is male driven, women asaccessories or inessentials. He raped a countless number of women, tookadvantage of their desire to succeed in a male dominated environment. He isdeviant in a s far as society is concerned at large but typical of a private Hollywoodlife style of rich and powerful men. Fromthe above discussion there is a clear consensus that there is some sort ofrelationship between rules, norms, and deviance. There is however discordbetween theorists.
R.K Merton arguesthat the driving force of any form of deviance is an individual’s position insociety. The elite will conform, though they too can be deviant.
In his StrainTheory, like K. Marx (Conflict Theory) suggests that the strain of life makespeople become deviant. Feminists argue along the same lines as well. Therelationship is because those who make the rules and decide the norms are men.A patriarchal society is biased against women so any relationship between rulesnorms and deviance is biased against women.
Biological and Psychological theoristsdo not see any relationships between rules, norms, and deviance. They arguethat some individuals are born with an innate proclivity towards deviance, anatural bent towards braking norms and rules. This genetic or a neurologicalissue inherited from family who had similar conditions.
Labeling theory arguesif you label a person as deviant they become just that, deviant. They arguethat just identifying someone as deviant will drive them towards deviant behaviors,a self-fulfilling prophecy.In conclusionone agrees there is a congruent relationship between rules, norms, anddeviance.
The biological and psychological theories are defunct because theycannot be proven. Marxist theory fails to explain the deviant actions of the elite.If they are wealthy, why do they commit crimes. Feminism fails to explain theactions deviant in this modern society where women have obtained equal rights.They commit crimes just as man do driven by same issues as man have There is aclear relationship even though scholars might struggle in explaining it.
Therelationship between the three in intrinsic, they are intertwined and a discussionof one discusses the other.