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Functions of Deviance

Functions of Deviance

Author: Paul Hannan

This lesson will examine Emile Durkheim's four functions of deviance.

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Terms to Know
Emile Durkheim

A hugely important sociologist who is famous for, among a number of things, theorizing the social functions of deviance.

Four Functions of Deviance

A pioneering sociologist Emile Durkheim argued that deviance is not abnormal, but actually serves four important social functions: 1) Deviance clarifies our collective cultural values; 2) Responding to Deviance defines our collective morality; 3) Responding to deviance unifies society; 4) Deviance promotes social change.

Kai Erikson (Study of the Puritans)

An American sociologist who studied the Puritans and argued that even a highly disciplined, religious society created deviance to clarify its moral boundaries.