Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What is Normal Behavior and Why is it Important?

What is normal social behavior? It is seen as behavior that does not deviate from the 'norm'. What is the norm? The 'norm' is considered to be what the majority of people are comfortable with, practice, value, and most importantly has sustained their group/society for a long long period of time successfully. That is why homosexuality can be considered as not normal behavior as in a deviation from the 'norm'.

Sociologists arrive at such conclusion through years of observation and not to dislike anyone. Observing normal behavior allows us to understand the mechanics of good society as in long term positive outcome. What normal behavior is decided upon by a group as such behavior has proved successful for the majority which is thus sustaining the group. Accordingly, what is normal is recognized as such largely because of the positive results long term results that it produces for the group.

Hence, stealing is not normal behavior. Premeditated murder is not normal behavior. Adultery is not normal behavior (grounds for divorce) and homosexuality is not normal behavior. In cultures around the world and for generations, and in nature, we observe that a male and female pair, designed naturally for sexual intercourse with the outcome being offspring which means more people which means a building up of society, has been considered normal behavior.

Why is it important for a sociologist to point what is normal and what is not in terms of social behavior? For all the reasons mentioned above.  Society's first priority is to remain stable and at the same time to continue being what it is. Abnormal behavior in society becomes a problem for society's priorities.  Knowing what is normal allows one to recognize what is not and thus repairs can be made in order for society to be able to resume its priorities. This means that people who are engaging what is not normal for society's priorities to be met can be either eliminated or temporarily in taken out of society and helped.

*The sign/mark of  'good' as in healthy society is how it helps its members get back to normalcy. 

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