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Social Deviance and Social Control
Samanta Woods 10/10/2019 09:26 AM CST

An assault is a threat or a deliberate attempt to inflict bodily harm or offensive physical contact on a person hence putting the person in apprehension or danger of such contact or harm. It is both a tort and a crime, and consequently it may either lead to civil or criminal liability. It is a social deviance as it goes against the norms of the society; also, it involves actions of threat and violence either by show of force or sometimes causing another person to apprehend immediately. An assault may include either of the following cases: when one inflicts serious bodily injury onto another person using a lethal weapon or when a person imposes onto another person grievous bodily harm such as kidnapping or raping among many other terrible inflictions, and when a person has sexual intercourse or any other related sexual harassment with an under aged person.

Virtually, the act of assault is overt. It majorly entails a threat combined with a fist raised and sufficient to cause a reasonable apprehension intended to harm the individual. Intent is an indispensable characteristic of assault. The intent to cause apprehension of harm is justifiable if it is substantially certain, to a sane person that such an act would lead to the same. This implies that there must be a reasonable fear of harm or injury. Therefore, there can be no assault if there is no true apprehension of harm in the victim. In the society, an assault is regarded as a general misconduct and deviation from the moral social set-up. Most societies regard assault with strict condemnation, particularly Islam community gives no room for such rogue persons in its livelihood. Moreover, in countries such as the U.S. and others that uphold Christianity and other religions, the aspects of good moral conducts reflect against the ideas of assaults.

The general social norm violated by assault is that one of respecting and treating others in humane ways. Nevertheless, assault entails many kinds of threats and harm infliction through apprehension in a person; therefore, there exist as many social norms as the assault is able to achieve. Basing on this fact, other broken social norms include prevention of gender and sexual harassment, of verbal and physical attack, of threats and kidnapping, etc. Again, the scope of this deviance depends on the character or personality of the one involved. The consequence of an assault done by an adolescent is incomparable to that one done by an adult; in the same measure of difference each faces the social law. The consequences of violation of norms are tough, especially when the assailant is known and the assault is determinable on the scale of its impact on the victim.

Consequences or punishment depends on the level of injury inflicted on the victim by the aggressor; the official agents of social control have the warranty of taking one into custody and to face the law of justice. Justice Law on assault varies in different countries with the most common a jail of maximum six months or a fine. The law requires that the complainant be able to prove the assault by clear and observable evidence. On the other hand, consequences on social equals include destruction of interpersonal relationships, a break from social ties, and the loss of self-respect.

The consequences are influenced by the following factors: age, gender, rank, religion, community, and country. Different levels of punishment are imposed on the assailant in accordance to age; younger adults are taken to correction systems, while adults are prosecuted in law courts. Also, depending on gender and rank, the consequences of the deviation are different, similarly their execution differs. A state officer cannot be subjected to the same systems as an ordinary man to protect the authority and trust of the government likewise feminine and masculine related assaults are treated differently. The religion or community tends to define the outcome of defiling such certain norms since each one of them has got different perception and belief about the norms of the society and their repercussions.

The situations or environment in which the deviance occurs define the impact on both the offended and defendant. In some cases, it may occur that the assailant was focused on self-protection from the aggressor (now complainant). In such cases, keen consideration is given to both sides to determine who exactly broke the norm before prosecution. In some communities, for instance in Africa, an assault, particular the one directed from a young to an old person, resulted into a curse or even an outcast in extreme cases.

According to Durkheim, deviance is functional for the society as it produces cohesion among its members. In functionalist analysis, he argues that deviance provides a platform of comparison with accepted social norms thereby helping to understand and appreciate these norms and in the process establishing social order. Assault in this case can be considered as functional for society, since it helps in regulation of social behavior which may initially seem not to be harmful, for example, assault in the context of self-defense. It contributes to the achievement of a stable society, as such it provides limit to social conduct. Moreover, it provides understanding of social norms related to it hence ensuring stringent observation and peaceful co-existence. On the other hand, it is dysfunctional to the society as it erodes moral values and breaks connecting social norms. It destroys and destabilizes the society as it creates conflicts that may extend to both communities of the assailant and defendant. Assault impacts negatively on social cohesion and interpersonal relationships.

In conclusion, assault is a dreadful social deviance whose dysfunctional features of society far outweigh the functional. Therefore, in order to create a stable and cohesive society, the deviance needs to be controlled or eliminated by postulating and devising tough consequences for it.

The article was written and submitted by the professional writer from restaurant server resume example - Samanta Woods.