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A discussion on the deviations in society

Values and Norms of Society: Conformity, Conflict and Deviation in Norms Article shared by: Conformity, Conflict and Deviation in Norms! The society at times appears to be chaotic, as when a mob riots, or when there is a hysterical rush from an impending crisis: Indeed order rather than disorder is the rule of the world.

Social order as it is called is obtained through regulation of human behaviour according to certain standards. All societies provide for these standards specifying appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. The standards which regulate behaviour have been termed social norms. The concept of norms is a central one in sociology. In sociology our concern is with social values. Social values are cultural standards that indicate the general good deemed desirable for organised social life.

These are assumptions o what is right and important for society. They provide the ultimate meaning and legitimacy for social arrangements and social behaviour. They are the abstract sentiments or ideals. It is widely considered to be a desirable end in itself. The importance of such a value in social life can hardly be exaggerated.

  • Behaviour norms are mainly learnt in the family;
  • A leader is often both a conformist and a deviate;
  • On account of mental defect the individual has limited capacity Lo learn;
  • When a number of individuals interact, a set of standards develop that regulate their relationships and modes of behaviour;
  • Thus when the tasks to be performed are during, fatiguing or dangerous, conformity will be low, unless the costs of non-conformity are correspondingly high.

A social value differs from individual value. An individual value is enjoyed or sought by the individual which a man seeks for himself. Even though these values are commonly shared, they do not become social values. Social values are organised within the personality of the individuals. They regulate his thinking and behaving. The process of socialization aims to include these values in his personality, the ethos or fundamental characteristics of any culture are a reflection of its basic values.

Thus if the American culture is dominated by a belief in material progress, the Indian culture is marked by spiritualism, the forgetting of self, abandonment of personal desire and elimination of the ambition. The differences in social values result in divergent social structures and patterns of expected behaviour. Norms are standards of group behaviour: An essential characteristic of group life is that it is possessed of a set of values which regulate the behaviour of individual members.

As we have seen already, groups do not drop out of the blue with stabilized relationships among members. Groups are the products of interaction among individuals. When a number of individuals interact, a set of standards develop that regulate their relationships and modes of behaviour.

These standards of group behaviour are called social norms. That brothers and sisters should not have sexual relations; a child should defer to his parents and an uncle should not joke with his nephews and nieces are the illustrations of norms which govern relationships among kinsmen.

Norms incorporate value judgements: This behaviour is considered desirable by the group. Such regularities in behaviour have been explained in terms of social norms.

Norm, in popular usage, means a standard.

In sociology our concern is with social norms, that is, norms accepted in a group. As standardized generalizations they are concepts which have been evaluated by the group and incorporate value judgements.

Thus it may be said that norms are based on social values which are justified by moral standards or aesthetic judgment. A norm is a pattern setting limits on individual behaviour. They denote expected behaviour, or even ideal behaviour. Moral values are attached to them. They are model practices. They set out the normative order of the group. Norms are related to factual world: It may not, however, be presumed that norms are abstract representing imaginary construct. Norms in order to be effective must represent correctly the relations between real events.

They must take into account the factual situation. A rule requiring all men to have two wives would be valueless if the sex ratio did not permit. Therefore, the normative system, since it is meant to achieve results in the factual world, should be related to the events in the real world. A normless society is impossibility: Norms are of great importance to society. It is impossible to imagine a normless society, because without norms behaviour would be unpredictable.

The standards of behaviour contained in the norms give order to social relation interaction goes smoothly if the individuals follow the group norms. The normative order makes the factual order of human society possible. If there were no normative order there could be no human society. Man needs a normative order to live in society because human organism is not sufficiently comprehensive or integrated to give automatic responses that are functionally adequate for society.

Man is incapable of existing alone. His dependence on society is not derived from fixed innate responses to mechanical social stimuli but rather from learned responses to meaningful stimuli.

Hence his dependence on society is ultimately a dependence upon a normative order. Norms give cohesion to society: We can hardly think of a human group apart from norms. The normative system gives to society a cohesion without which social life is not possible. Those groups which cannot evolve a normative order and maintain normative control over their members fail to survive because of the lack of internal co-operation.

They are specific demands to act made by his group. They are much more stable. They have the power to silence any previously accepted abstract sentiment which they may oppose.

They take precedence over abstract sentiments. Becoming a member of a group implies forming attitudes in relation to group norms. The individual becomes a good member to the extent he abides by the norms. The norms determine and guide his intuitive judgments of others and his intuitive judgments of himself.

They lead lo the phenomena of conscience, of guide feelings, of elation and depression. They are deeper than consciousness. Becoming a member of guilt consists of internalizing the norms of the group. Through internalization they become a part a discussion on the deviations in society himself automatically expressed in his behaviour.

Norms are not formed by all groups in relation to every kind of behaviour and every possible situation. They are formed in matters of consequence to a particular group.

What matters are of consequence to a group depends upon the main purposes and goals of the group, the relationship of that group to other groups, and other conditions in which it operates. Likewise, the scope of behaviour regulated by norms varies considerably in different groups.

Further, a social norm operative in one social system may not be operative in another. Thus, Mohammedan societies permit polygyny, but Christian ones do not. Likewise norms do not apply equally to all members of a society or to all situations.

They are adjusted to the position people hold in the society and to the occupations they practise. Thus what is proper for a woman is not always proper for a man, or what is proper for a doctor may not be proper for a teacher. Thus conformity to norms is always qualified in view a discussion on the deviations in society the socially defined situations in which they apply.

A norm by definition implies a sense of obligation. It lays down a standard of behaviour which one ought to follow. Many of the problems of personality as well as society are mostly the problems of non-conformity to norms. Conformity to norms is normal. The individual having internalized the norms, feels something like a need to conform.

His conscience would bother him if he did not.

Further people would disapprove his action if he violates the norm. Thus both internalized need and external sanctions play an effective role in bringing about conformity to norms. The violators of norms suffer the following kinds of sanctions: By contrast, those who conform to norms enjoy the expected co- operation from others, maintain good prestige in the group and receive positive rewards such as praise, bonuses and promotions. Three questions have been posed in regard to conformity of norms: These three questions deal respectively with focus, extent and distribution of conformity to norms.

Values and Norms of Society: Conformity, Conflict and Deviation in Norms

Why some behaviours and attitudes subjected to normative control and others are are not? As we have already seen people form groups to satisfy a variety of needs.

Normative controls arise in the areas of behaviour where members have become more dependent for the satisfaction of their needs.