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Introduction to Sociology: The Concept of Deviance Essay

Understanding that society has unavoidably primary influences on what is deemed deviant or not significantly reduces the confusion that abound concerning the subject. This paper presents this assumption and emphasizes the pertinent works of several experts in the field. Ahmad and Rosenhan in their separate treatises try to put forth convincing proofs and arguments as to their respective positions. In essence, this paper explains the stand of Ahmad and the discoveries and conclusions drawn by the experiment performed by Rosenhan.

Culture, creed or religious persuasions unavoidably are crucial to the behavior of people which may be the benchmarks with which people base their actions, decision making and choices (Navada, 2009). II. CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS The following questions will help the reader and student to make objective judgments on several key issues regarding their outlook on issues. The idea is that deviance according to society’s dictates can and will make or break certain ways of living, probably leading even to the annihilation of a number of people as the perpetrators might perceive their victims.

Ahmad appears brilliant as to how he pursued the arguments concerning the validity of the West’s allegations about who are terrorists. The gist of his article was that the problem with society is that it has no permanent definition of a concept in particular. In the issue of terrorism, when it happened that a group of people or a country deemed another one lesser influential in terms of politicking, then the more influential or powerful a person is, the more he or his group sets the tone of morality and ethics: what is moral and ethical hinge on the degree of greed and selfishness of individuals.

Rosenhan shows that being insane cannot be actually determined by whatever instrument or tool, or by what is dictated as the “normal curve. ” The kind of study he made was an in-depth one and brings reality check to the people seriously involved in mental illness and restoring health. There were many observations that indeed were valid including the fact that grave responsibility lies with the head of these hospitals or organizations whose modelling or example mean death or life, recovery or real insanity for the individual patient. 1. Ahmad’s Article

The point of view of Ahmad (1998) succinctly described in his article Terrorism: Theirs and Ours` must be read with as much as the removal of colored “glasses” which may be a hindrance as to getting this author’s point of view. It means that filtering his ideas through one’s personal biases and perspective may not be a very good idea at all. Rather, a Jewish person with his own arguments should probably pretend first that he is at the side of the writer and later take on his identity and worldviews (Ahmad, 1998). What is the author’s point in writing the paper?

Ahmad simply states that terrorism depends entirely on who’s benefited by the action especially in grand scale (Ahmad, 1998). In the case of Palestine and Israel, and on the world’s stage, terrorism cannot be ascribed as such for as long as the West such as the United States remains in such a lofty position as a superpower. Their might and clout spell dominion and their own definition of what terrorism. Contemporary milieu shows that since the Palestinian people are not on the American side according to Ahmad, then this particular group of people has no say; and whenever they take up arms, it is not termed as a nationalistic campaign.

Rather, it is terrorism. Ahmad also meant that America and its relationship to influential nations can be considered farce and the display of concern as charade (Ahmad, 1998). How does the author prove his point? The use of logic and/or deductive reasoning was how the author Ahmad tried to persuade his audience (Ahmad, 1998). What evidence do they use to prove their point? Ahmad saw to it that archival evidence supports his arguments well. He utilized the news and editorial clips and other sources to put forth the allegations that during the times that Israel was not yet a State, Jewish uprisings were acceptably known as terrorism.

Evidences from print communications then turned around which made Palestinian revolts as works of terrorists (Ahmad, 1998). What do their findings say about deviance and society in general? Ahmad’s arguments simply posited that deviance is dictated by politics and power (Navada, 2009; Ahmad, 1998). It is the fact that in any given society, the ideology that permeates is one that is held by those in positions of authority, wealth and power.

In the case of the existence of the Jewish State or that of the Palestinian identity, he argues that in their respective “reigns” these two races the emergence of the term terrorism is defined by the point of view of each. When the Palestinians were occupying the place, Jewish reformers or the Jewish desire for a country represented a threat and was described as terrorism; their leaders, called terrorists. Deviance, normality, or abnormality are terms inherently critical to society as the definition of the terms rests on the people governing a particularly society or institution.

It is probably correct to think and draw conclusions that Mr. Ahmad is right concerning this point of view (Ahmad, 1998). However, it is entirely another thing when terror continues to be wrought in various places of the world by the vast network established by people of similar persuasions. It would be entirely simplistic to think along strictly along the line of thought that Mr. Ahmad was thinking (Ahmad, 1998). The world of humans is oftentimes unpredictable, changing and wondrously exciting.

However, when these attributes become extremely bizarre and painfully detrimental, humans become sick and worried about to what extent can other humans afford to inflict harm against them. Suicide bombing is, if not the most, one of the most gruesome acts anybody can commit. It is outright crazy and stupid. One must be beside the normal to be entertaining such a thought in mind. Ironically, fanatics who have committed and attempted suicide bombings in the past, were deemed normal until the day when the execution of their ultimate plans were made public whether foiled or completed.

People who are afflicted with mental disorder may, as other people, travel for the same reasons – vacation, visiting friends or relatives, business, recreation, and sometimes for religious or spiritual focus (Miller & Zarcone, 1968). Others indeed may travel for reasons other than the normal – for reasons triggered by malformed mental state such as the men who carried out the 911 attack of the Twin Towers in New York. Along the 911 attack, suicide bombing through aircraft came to prominence resulting in the stirring of the awareness among the international public of the fact that the regular traveller might not be that “regular” anyway.

It is probable that some of them are driven by excessive anger or motivated by utopic hope as taught in the communities wherein they have pledged their life allegiance (Silke, 2003). 2. Rosenhan research What is the author’s point in writing the paper? Rosenhan’s breakthrough (1973) in mental institutions was a very interesting and inexplicably raw to the minds of figures or people who are in helping profession (Rosenhan, 1973). It is critical and contributes a sensitive fibre to a huge institution that caters to mental illness.

There may be loopholes as to how the experiment was carried out including ethical issues to human participation but the results and the procedures were “loudspeakers” and are considered significant to the idea of labelling and the diagnosis of the mental illness (Rosenhan, 1973). How does the author prove his point? Rosenhan proved his point by direct and firsthand experiences of people who were participants in the study (Rosenhan, 1973). What evidence do they use to prove their point?

With the thorough handling of data derived from these individual participant’s observations, he made generalizations and conclusions as to the state or condition of the Mental Institutions, the capabilities and efficiency of Mental Health Professionals were in question. His findings which were consistent to a large extent with many of his volunteers’ observations push the issue of proper diagnosis and labelling, use of diagnostic criteria, the abilities and qualifications and work ethics of people practicing in the mental health field to the fore and pose as challenge to the kind of profession being handled here (Rosenhan, 1973).

What do their findings say about deviance and society in general? Specific items observed especially important to making generalizations in the discipline include the length of time that nurses, attendants and most importantly, the psychiatrists and psychologists spend with patients. By empirical evidence criterion alone, the practice drastically falls short on this aspect. In the area of diagnosis and subsequent intervention measures, the initial assessments, description aspect play a major role hence can never be relegated to a minor place in the practice.

Mental illness then or deviance for that matter hinges on many issues brought out in the experiment (Rosenhan, 1973; Navada, 2009). III. REFERENCE PAGE Ahmad, Eqbal (1998). `Terrorism:Theirs and Ours. ` Accessed June 13, 2009 online at http://www. sangam. org/ANALYSIS/Ahmad. htm Gordon, Harvey, Mike Kingham, Tony Goodwin (2004).. Air travel by passengers with mental disorder. Psychiatric Bulletin 28:295-297. The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Jourad, Sydney (1963). Personal Adjustment. 2nd Ed. New York: MacMillan Company.

Navada, Marianne Ryan-Go (2009). Principles of Sociology; Chapter 8, pp. 1-4. Accessed June 13, 2009 online at http://book. gonavada. com/html/Chapter8. html Rosenhan, David (1973). `On Being Sane in Insane Places. ` Accessed June 13, 2009 online at http://www. walnet. org/llf/ROSENHAN-BEINGSANE. PDF Silke, A. (2003). The psychology of suicide terrorism. In Terrorists, Victims and Society (ed. A. Silke), pp. 93 -108. Chichester: Wiley. Tiffin, Joseph and Ernest McCormick J. (1958). Industrial psychology. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

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