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Social Deviance and Autism - Essay Example

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Social Deviance and Autism Name University Instructor: Course: Date Submitted: Social Deviance and Autism Social Deviance is defined as engaging in activities which deviate from the widely accepted social norms, within the context of the culture, geographic segregation and the local view points and observations…
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Social Deviance and Autism
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Download file to see previous pages The society does not favor deviance as groups are more likely to work in a unified, product way if there is coherence and conformity in the acts and attitudes of the individual members; however, it is possible to observe positive effects of deviancy in certain cases especially for people who are unable to fit in the defined social structure. Social deviancy and crime are closely interrelated; criminals indulge in damaging activities which are a threat to the individual and societal rights and are prosecuted by the law according to preset regulations. These activities are often a more deliberate and extreme form of social deviance and are shunned by the society at large. But within different contexts a set of activities which are against a law may be accepted as commonplace such as speeding on the highway and similarly there are deviants who go against the norms of the majority but are not criminals. When distinguishing between ‘crime’ and ‘deviancy’, John Hagan’s classifications provide a good reference point with the regards to individual acts. He gives the three dimensions on which deviancy can be measured, these include the perceived harmfulness of the activity to the society or any individual, the consensus of the society as to whether deviancy occurred and severity of action proposed against the perpetrators. Each of these dimensions can be ranged from high to low; an activity which ranks as high on all three will be immediately classified as ‘consensus crimes’ which provide immediate danger and are wildly against accepted social behavior. In the case given, the individual in question Mr. McCollum had a self confessed obsession with trains and places related to trains. Suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome, the man’s great interest in locomotives is not unusual for someone with the affliction. The problem arose when he tried to impersonate ticket wardens, steal a locomotive and indulge in other delinquent activities like joy riding and trespassing train control towers to satisfy his need to be ‘near trains or a train yard’. These activities got him arrested several times, yet he went against the terms of his parole in 2006 because of his obsession with trains. As far as social deviance goes, his behavior was potentially dangerous as it involved interfering with the mechanisms of sophisticated machinery which could endanger the people using or working with them. The consensus that his behavior is different from socially established rules is similarly high as safety protocols are given the highest importance in modern society and people breaking these regulations are looked upon very negatively. It is difficult to classify Mr McCollum’s actions as consensus crimes, however, because there is disparity in the opinion for the severity of his castigation- the reason being his suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. His advocates claim that even though Mr. McCollum was aware that his actions were not acceptable at large he still felt a compulsion to perform them. This is true of people affected by Autism spectrum disorders which are one of the most common neurological disorders, and most common developmental disabilities in our society. Aspergers is classified as high functioning autism, marked by social inhibitions, a lack of relation to the social interactions which form the basis of the society and a compulsive behavior ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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