Blog #4: Merton’s Deviance Typology

Merton explores the theory of structural functionalism by explaining deviance/non-conformity. He says that relationships between various social institutes that make up our society such as, government, law, education, religion, etc., are responsible for this. These things produce “anomie” when the level of expectations in society are unclear. In general, there may be moral confusion. Individuals in society must make a connection between their values and morals in order to meet their goals; however this may be difficult for some. When this is unclear, individuals in society tend to deviate in order to adapt. Merton describes the different ways of adapting in five ways: conformity, ritualism, retreatism, innovation, and rebellion. 

The most controversial out of the bunch in my opinion is rebellion. Rebellion occurs when individual(s) in society are simply “fed up” of the institutional norms of society and attempt to completely change them. In the video, Reading the Riots, the English society lashed out against the government. I believe that the superior mode of adaptation was rebellion; however many conformed to the actions of others at the time being simply because everyone was doing it. This “rebellion” was a symbol for change where many refused to conform to the ways of the government through looting, protesting, and violence. This shows just how powerful anomie is and how detrimental it can be to society. 

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One response to “Blog #4: Merton’s Deviance Typology

  1. I agree that rebellion occurs in the individual society who are / is institutional norms of society. Rebellion have been always use in society throughout history. It is true that rebellion shows how powerful anomie is and how serious it is for people who are seeking change, but sometimes as you mentioned some people conform to the changes and some people do not.

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