Deviation from social norms Limitations

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  • Deviation from social norms: Limitations
    • Cultural Relativism
      • Defined by social norms, but they are defined by culture.
      • Diagnoses is different in cultures.
      • There are no universal standards, rules  as DSM glossary labels culture bound syndromes.
    • Deviance related to context, degree
      • Judgements of deviance based on context of the behaviour
      • Not a clear line between abnormality and eccentricity
      • Shows that deviance cannot give complete definition
    • Susceptible to abuse
      • Varies as time changes, as social norms change through time e.g. gays.
      • If we accept this definition fully, allow diagnosis based on social morals and attitudes.
      • Szasz (1974) claimed concept of mental illness way to exclude nonconformists.


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