Social Deviance Application: Charles Manson Essay

783 words - 3 pages

Social deviancy is the violation of social norms. A deviant is someone who rejects folkways and mores. Any action that violates the values or rules of a social group is deviant behavior. In order to actually be characterized as a deviant, the individual must be detected committing a deviant act and be stigmatized by society. A stigma is a mark of social disgrace, setting the deviant apart from the group. Criminality is healthy for society. Deviance affirms our cultural values and norms. Responding to deviance clarifies moral boundaries and brings people together. There will always be people who break society’s rules and that’s important.
Charles Mason, the leader of "The Manson Family" cult, is an ideal example of social deviancy. In Manson’s earlier years of life he engaged in many deviant acts/crimes; but, he’s infamous for being the leader of the cult responsible for the murders of Sharon Tate and Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit these murders, which were carried out by members of “the family”. Tate, her unborn child, and four others were murdered on August 9, 1969 by four members of cult. The next night, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were killed in their home. Charles Manson was found guilty January 25, 1971 and was sentenced to death March 29, 1971. Before his sentence could be carried out, the death penalty was abolished in California, so he is now serving a life sentence. Charles Manson has been called the “most dangerous man” and the “devil”. Charles Manson was an icon in the late 1960’s and is still a very well-known person today.
The Structural Strain Theory is a theory of deviance that explains deviance as the natural outgrowth of the values, norms, and structures of society. American society places a high value on certain goals, but not everyone has the resources to achieve economic success. These people are expected to meet the goals of society regardless and they’re judged on how well they’re able to.
Culturally approved goals are achieved through conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, or rebellion. Under this strain of expectations and limited means, some people fall victim to anomie. Anomie is social instability due to the breakdown of standards and values. For the individual it’s the uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals caused by the missing standards. Individuals are left without guidelines for behavior resulting in...

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