Deviation from Social Norms

  • Created by: Kinza
  • Created on: 24-03-13 18:02

Deviation from social norms

This is the departure or deviation of an individual, from society's unwritten rules (norms). There are also a number of criterias to be considered and examined before reaching a judgement as to whether rules are broken. Something may be considered as normal in one culture but abnormal in another.

A society accepts the standards of a behaviour, these are usually written as a form of laws. Sometimes the norms are not written as laws but are considered, e.g. queing up in a shop, this is not a law but is considered to be a norm. Whether written into legal consideration or not; generally accepted but no legally building, social norms allow the regulatiom of normal social behaviour.

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Limitations of the Deviation from Social Norms

Behaviour whihc deviates from social norms cannot always be related to psychopathology.

Social norms reflect the beliefs of society, they look at the political dimensions. Someone who is against political issues is classed as schoizophrenic, they are then locked up into a psychatric hospital. This behaviour only happens within a society which cannot accept it. It can be defined as a mean of political control.

Social norms also vary upon time. Homeosexuality was also considered as a psycharic disorder in America until 1960. Attitudes then changed towards it and now is not part of pscyhopathology. Therefore the DSN does not provide clear definitions of abnormality but is era-dependent.

Legal systems have assumed that people have control over their own behaviour, this means that crimes are not associated to make or be caused due to a person being mentally ill. Therefore illegal acts do not always involve psychopathology. 

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Form of Psychopathology in DSN.

It has been suggested that some violent offenders may be suffering from abnormalities in thier brain, which causes their actions, this means that they are not always responsible of what has happened. This then shows a form of psychopathology.

DSN is also used when justifying and forcing treatment into people, and links with all the actions towards mental health.

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Good resource. Are you by any chance Kinza Tariq? 

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