Positivist and Constructionist Theories: Basic Differences Essay Sample

There is a basic difference in the two theories known as rationalist and constructionist in sociology. It is considered determinism. In order to understand the theories and aberrance. one must understand determinism. What is determinism? It is the belief that everything is already decided and occurs based on every idea. action and feeling we have by things that have already happened. The hereafter so is determined by our yesteryear. Positivism originated with August Comte. It was considered a philosophical attack that replaced guess with scientific discipline. Positivist theoreticians believe aberrance is existent and falls under three classs. First that aberrance is perfectly existent. Second. that aberrance is discernible or like an object and 3rd that aberrance is determined by forces. The old school positivism relied on biological grounds or factors. The newer thought or modern-day school expressions at society as the cause of aberrance. If aberrance is the antonym of normality so what is normal? Harmonizing to Emile Durkheim. normal is defined by specific behaviours or features that are present in bulk of instances. and exclusions are unnatural ( Wikipedia ) .

On the other manus. constructivism looks at happening the beginning for why we believe the manner we believe. and life experiences consequence. on those beliefs. They don’t see the universe as being divided into right and incorrect. aberrant and non-deviant. They believe the issue is non why certain people violate norms but how norms are constructed ( including what factors are considered in specifying people or labeling them as pervert ) and how are countenances applied–why are some people engaged in certain behaviours ( or who possess peculiar features ) condemned and labeled. “deviant. ” Society has a inclination to label behaviour that does non run into their definition of normal therefore these people have a stigma and must make up one’s mind to populate up to that label or alteration it. Positivist Positions

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In looking at determinism. we have biological determinism an illustration of which is phrenology. and societal determinism an illustration which is anomie-strain.

Phrenology is an illustration of the biological theory of positivism. It is based on biological determinism and looks at physical properties. They studied the bumps and bumps of a person’s skull and determined they are present for a ground and being located in certain countries made the individual more likely to make certain things or to be aberrant. Franz Joseph Gall looked at this thought in 1796 when he noticed that his schoolmates who could memorise big sums of information easy seemed to hold outstanding eyes and big brows. He believed other qualities besides memory could be determined by external characteristics as good. Thiefs were besides studied and determined to hold the same bumps and bumps behind their ears. Anomie-strain

Anomie-strain is an illustration of societal determinism. It is considered to be socially based. These sociologists looked at the beginning of aberrant behaviour being caused by societal factors and the operation of society. It states that people act and perform based on their environment and civilization non their genetic sciences. Harmonizing to Allan Levite a author. ” mere consequence does non go an account for human behaviour unless person sees a reason–usually an ideological reason–to make one. It is now impossible to earnestly impute such jobs as offense or poorness to physiology or natural philosophies. but they can easy be attributed to society. ” ( Levitte. 1996 ) . The footing for surveies done for old ages on the effects of Television force on kids by predisposing them to force. could we non besides say that is predisposes them to normal activities in their hereafter based on their society. It would turn out this thought incorrect sing Adolf Hitler ne’er watched Television but was sharply violent. In the 1940’s. Merton addressed the biological facet of aberrance and determined biological science can non by itself be blamed for the nature and difference of aberrance from one society to the following.

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His involvement wasn’t so much why person deviates but why the rates differed dramatically from one society to another. Merton besides changed the construct to where there is an evident deficiency of tantrum between civilizations norms. about the evident deficiency of success and the appropriate ends to accomplish them. He believed the United States puts more accent on success. and anomie –strain becomes the account for high rates of aberrant behaviour in the U. S. compared with other societies. and besides an account for the distribution of aberrant behaviour across groups defined by category. race. and ethnicity. The U. S. . in fact. Merton sees as an illustration of a society in which success ends ( frequently defined chiefly in pecuniary footings ) are emphasized for everyone in the civilization. and people are criticized for non executing to their best ability. Constructionist Perspective

Constructionist expressions at aberrance from a different position. It is the “social building of deviance” that needs to be explained. non the ( “wrong” ) picks of persons. Labeling Theory

The labeling theory. an illustration of constructivist position is the theory put away to specify how aberrance is experienced and why people continue to be aberrant. The labeling theory was developed by a group of sociologists in the 1960’s. It is a version of symbolic interactionism specifying aberrance as a corporate action affecting the Acts of the Apostless of more than one individual. and the positions and perceptual experiences of more than one individual or group of people. It focuses on the interaction of the supposed pervert and other people. This attack views aberrance as being ever and everyplace a procedure of interaction between at least two sorts of people. those who commit a aberrant act and the remainder of our society. Peoples of power tend to label others with less power. Once labeled as pervert. the individual labeled is likely to be seen merely as a pervert. and so persecuted for it because people ever assume that they will merely perpetrate aberrant Acts of the Apostless and a stigma develops.

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The basic difference between the rationalist and the constructionist point of position is the positive expressions at the single individual analyzing the biological and societal features of the individual and determines features and specifying aberrance based on determinism whether it is society thought of aberrance or the single physical features. The constructionist on the other manus. focuses purely on society and symbolism. We label persons with a label of aberrance because we expect them to go on being aberrant based on our thoughts of what is right and incorrect. We besides label persons as pervert because they are different. We look at autistic kids as pervert because they do non conform and move as other kids of their age group. As a society we do non understand or accept differences. We want people to conform to what as our civilization or society has labeled as normal. how we expect others to move. to look. or to speak.

Plants Cited

Levite. A. ( 1996. December 19th ) . The “ism” that isn’t ( why societal determinism can non intend what it says ) . Retrieved from Independent Institute: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. independent. org/publications/article. asp? id=245 What are Positive or Constructionist Theories in Crime and Social Deviance. ( 2013. January 24 ) . Retrieved from eHow. com: World Wide Web. ehow. com/info_8116432_positive-theories-crime-social-deviance- . html # ixzz2IjnIRHbA Wikipedia. ( n. d. ) . Retrieved from wikepedia: hypertext transfer protocol: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Normality_ ( behaviour )