Definition of Abnormal
‘Abnormal’ refers to anything that deviates from a society’s or group’s typical behavior or social form, mainly when such deviation is referred to as maladjustment, maladaptation, or dysfunction.
When behavior is unconventional or out of the ordinary, it consists of unwanted behavior, disrupting the individual’s functioning; it is deemed abnormality.
The problem of determining ‘normality’ arises in any sociological application of the term. Durkheim, for example, assumed that the functional form was also the typical social form at a particular stage of social development.
However, whereas functional normalcy and abnormality conceptualizations are pretty apparent in biological creatures, their applicability in society has been frequently questioned.
Sociologists have traditionally conceived individual and societal variability and divergence from established patterns of behavior in different ways than in terms of ‘normality and ‘abnormality,’ apart from Durkheim and functionalist sociology.
Abnormal behavior is behavior that deviates from societal, cultural, and ethical expectations. Age, gender, and traditional, and societal categorizations all influence these expectations. Due to these subjective variables, the definition of abnormal behavior is a hotly debated topic in abnormal psychology.
The branch of abnormal psychology studies the clinical aspects of abnormal behavior.
The change in cultural patterns and modernization change the perspectives of people and in such a scenario, irregular issues may become normal issues. Atheists are persecuted in Muslim countries like Afghanistan and they are treated as abnormality (2012 WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion Report) whereas atheists are considered normal in countries like the United States of America.
Example 1: If a person laughs continuously at a funeral ceremony, such a person is considered abnormal.
Example 2: The scheduled caste community member in India is facing abnormal ignorance from the upper caste community based on birth and caste.
Example 3: Homosexuality is considered abnormal whereas heterosexuality is defined as perfectly normal in traditional societies.