The Social Construction of Deviance and Evolution of language
Deviance is socially constructed. We as a society decide
what is normal but this differs between each Culture, Society and those within each of these cultures. However nobody has agreed to these norms, in
contemporary society they are influenced by the Government; legislative and judiciary, Media and smaller groups. What is considered abnormal to one
group is perfectly fine for another. Take for example Christians; many of them will think homosexuality is deviant behaviour.
In reality, as long as any behaviour I do does not physically (without consent) or financially (without consent) cause another individual harm – who
has the right to stop me from doing it? You yourself said: “Society doesn't normally wait for surveys or studies before deeming something
– so then how do we know if these actions are not acceptable by society? Again, homosexuality is a fantastic reference point. Up
till the 1970’s/1980’s, homosexuality was deemed so deviant that it was actually illegal. People were placed in prison on sentences that matched
that of rapists.
The reason I bring this up is for people to spend a moment and think what these teenagers are actually doing. All they are doing is standing and
swearing – what harm has that done to you? Can you rationally sit there and think someone swearing is a problem? That in reality, society will
change or be harmed by them standing their? In fact, there’s an interesting analogy between what happened in 1900’s Britain in shops. When women
began to show more of themselves – skirts left the floor – people began to do the same. Such “harlots” were not allowed in stores, stores in
fact banned them because their presence would cause so much harm. Did it? No.
Then you have to look at words themselves. You yourself place a whole in your own argument: Many homosexual males, will be offended by the use of the
term “gay” as many black people will be offended by the term “'n-word'”. However, the intent behind the words is what results in people being
offended. If two black men refer to themselves as “'n-word's” several of them will not be offended. Try referencing contemporary music like Ice
Cube or N.W.A. which itself stood for “Niggas With Attitude”.
However, it’s the use of language and how it has evolved that has resulted in people being offended. The term “'n-word'” is a perfect example of
this. If you trace the route of the word to the Latin all it refers to is the colour “black”. It is the intent behind the word that results in it
being offensive – if you can’t realise this, go turn on a music channel after the water shed and watch the word being used by rap artists. The
opposite is happening with youth now, words like “#” are not used to be offensive but they’re doing it to break down social barriers.
The problem is, the adults do not care.
You almost hit the nail on the head; adults do not care about these “badges of
honour”. But you are mistaken if you think that children use them to impress adults. They do not – they use them to impress other people their own
age. In fact, all ASBO’s did in the United Kingdom was create a subculture of deviance.
All that this idea will do is to create a sub-culture of Youths who have been banned from the Mall. They’ll use it to show off, just like they do
already with drugs. Children smoke because it makes them cool, it doesn’t matter what the adults think. Furthermore your idea ” Let the parents
pay a few hundred bucks in fines, and see how fast junior changes his tune.”
is laughable. Do you honestly think this will stop children? Again
I can reference a similar scheme in the United Kingdom. Last year (2006) the Government introduced legislation that punished the parents of truant
children. It didn’t work. It has resulted in three women being sent to prison and none of their children going to School.
Just think about what you are suggesting. The parents are expected to watch their children 24/7; they’re expected to monitor everywhere they go and
to stop them from going to certain places. Now thing of this from a legal perspective, if the child tries to leave the parent is going to stop them
how? With force? Is that even legal? Furthermore, is it right to stop a teenager from socializing with other people their own age?
Also, let us look at another thing you suggest: ”a (no) trespass order”
”. Now, to have this order placed, security guards will need to
detain the “young person”. Then they will have to call the Police. Then they will have to take them to court. This means, Police officers will be
removed from solving real crimes to stop young people swearing in a public place. Just think about that for a long moment. You’re suggesting,
removing officers from the street, from solving real crimes such as assault, rape, burglary, where people are harmed because you get upset about
people swearing. Then you want the Court to have its time wasted to place such orders on people. Then if they re-offend you want the Police to spend
more time to re-arrest them, to then have them re-processed and then put them back through the legal system. This of course costing money and wasting
Police and court time.
Let us be honest with ourselves
You have yet to demonstrate how these children swearing harms society.
You have yet to demonstrate how it harms you by them swearing.
You have yet to demonstrate how it will be enforced without reduction in security guards and police time.
This is nothing more than a waste of time. It’ll result in the Police’s time being wasted. The Courts. Tax payers money being spent (furthermore
don’t suggest making the parents pay. That idea is without merit). Just because you can’t stand a few people swearing? Think about it and then
realise you’re an adult – words should not offend you, especially when they’re not directed at you.
There are things so much worse that could happen. However, you worry about people swearing. You even support an idea which would involve wasting
Police time from real criminals, from real crimes to save your ears. Well I hope, you can sleep easy if one of those Police officers can stop a child
swearing but allow a real crime to go unsolved. A real crime that really hurts people.
 One that differs from a norm, especially a person whose behaviour and attitudes differ from accepted social standards.
 A standard or model or pattern regarded as typical
 A student who stays away from school without permission