Robert Merton had a particular view on the role of social deviance in society. Social deviance is the term that is used to describe behavior by individuals that deviates from society’s norms, behavior that isn’t typical. It is then categorized in a different way allowing such behavior to be analyzed. Merton therefore came up with a theory that explains why individuals take part in behaviors of social deviance. He believed that society sets out goals and expectations that an individual can achieve. This though must be done within the rules of the social order, a means that creates guidelines for social behavior and responsibility. The two are closely related to each other, and can vary.
This social order pressures individuals into certain behaviors. In order to achieve their means they must play along with the rules, something that Merton compares to in sports. Sports create rules that athletes must follow and in order to achieve their goals in their desired sport, they must follow them. This is the same with individuals in society, if one wants to become wealthy they must follow the law, and avoid things such as fraud, corruption, and bribery. It is easy to see how sometimes people can take part in deviant behavior since they are often influenced by the people they know, or the community they live in. Society creates guidelines for people to follow, but sometimes people cannot achieve their goals the right way, creating a sense of anomie.
After watching a couple of M.I.A.’s videos in class, it was clear to me that the rapper/artist was trying to mock the fact that sex is an important aspect in our society. A lot of the things that we do personally are based on it, for example the way dress, the way we want to smell, and the way we take care of ourselves. Being sexual is seen as something attractive, and catches the attention of both sexes alike. M.I.A. in most of her videos is very aggressive, and rebellious, and does not place a lot of emphasis on attracting the the opposite sex. However in her video “XXXO” she matches the lyrics of her son talking about being sexual in the digital age, with various images of things that seen as “feminine” and sexual.
The song talks about romance and the importance of being sexual in the digital age. M.I.A. often repeated the lyrics “you want me to be something that I’m really not” suggests that women are often forced to be sexual in order to appease the opposite sex and create that desire within them. It is often disappointing to see that romance in the present day cannot exist without sexuality, and that it cannot survive or be created out of pure love.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman told the story of a young woman who was thought of to be sick both mentally and health wise. Her husband was also her doctor and main caregiver throughout the passage. He believed that it was best for her to be under his care, and that she should follow his instructions on the road to recovery. Unfortunately as the passage goes on, he begins to see images on the yellow wallpaper throughout the home. She becomes extremely fascinated with the image that she see in it, and begins to become obsessed with it. Through time she takes not of what she is seeing, and begins to see the image of a woman being suffocated within the wallpaper.
This passage by Gilman is on that shows a lot of irony, especially with the way the husband treats his wife. He treats her with a lot of domination, and the wife throughout the story follows his orders because he is seen as “the man of the house”. Unfortunately the husbands poor treatment is what gets the woman more sick, especially psychologically. Its this treatment that women in society receive still till this day, and I as a woman fall victim to it all the time. Coming from a home in which my father is “the man of the house”, it is easy for women to fall into the domination of men. They believe that they are superior, and we must do what is in their best interest.
The relationship between a creditor and a debtor has existed for centuries. The idea in which someone should borrow money to make more money is one that has fueled this relationship, and was a principle that can be linked to the economic collapse in the late 2000s. Moral confusion however is created during times of economic disaster, as to who to protect, the creditors or the debtors. A quote used throughout the article is that “debts have to be paid”, but under what circumstances? Should austerity be imposed on a country just because their dictator made a selfish economic decision and now the rest of the country has to suffer?
These types of questions are created when rough economic times arise. Should it be an obligation for debt to be paid? In my opinion after reading this article it depends on the situation. There should be laws that protect both the lender and the borrower. A lender should be able to receive his original sum, however the borrower should not be exploited to a point in which their lives can be ruined just because a debt is not paid. Dictators in the early 1980s, and 90s, borrowed money from the imf and were forced to pay it back. However after pocketing the money and investing it in banks, these dictators forced their citizens to have to work and receive less benefits from their country just to pay back these corrupt loans.
This led to many people dying in countries in Africa just because medical funding was cut due to these corrupt loans that dictators make. In ancient texts, lenders were always looked upon as evil individuals and if you think about it things really have not changed. These current lenders were the ones that created the whole economic crisis, and should be looked at the same way in my opinion.
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After reading the article on “The theory of leisure class”, it is obvious to see the distinction between classes when it comes to labor and leisure time. The working class, often working a high number of hours, is never able to have any leisure time due to the work load that they have at their workplace. You can call it exploitation but there is a clear notion that the individuals with a stronger relationship with the means of production do not have to work as much. This available “leisure” is a characteristic that separates the working class and the higher class. The working class must work long hours in order to survive, and the high class even going back to barbaric times would always have the ability to have to work much less due to the nature of work that they had.
In modern times this is still very much true. A working class individual must always work long and hard hours in order to survive, while the people in higher social groups/classes have jobs such as doctors, dentists, and lawyers, that do not require much labor but are considered of higher status. This also allows them to accumulate wealth at a higher rate while having this “leisure” time to rest.