For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Crime and Punishment in the Factory: The Function of Deviancy in Maintaining the Social System"

by Bensman, Joseph; Gerver, Israel (1963)


[The functional view of deviancy, which emphasizes rejection of the norms of a social system and the conflict between means and ends, is brought under question because it imputes "ends" to a system. An alternative perspective is presented, advancing the conception that norms are rules that express the nature of social transactions in an organization and are established under a historically specific systems of authority. Under this conception, "deviant" actions do not necessarily imply a rejection of the ends of a total system, but are simply part of the totality of individual transactions in an organization. Thus deviant behavior is the consequent of a plurality of ends as well as the consequent of the conflict between means and ends. The functions of the violation of one specific rule of workmanship in one organization are treated in detail to illustrate the inapplicability of the functional model of deviancy and the viability of other perspectives.]


Sociology, Crime, Deviance, Ethics, Norms, Authority, Psychology, Workmanship, Functionalism


Political Theory

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