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Deviance and Disorganization

Deviance poses danger to the stability of the social order. It may be destructive of organizations in at least three ways. Deviance is more or less a loss or defect of a critical part in a complicated mechanism. An organized social activity is possible only when the different members perform their respective functions in accordance with the expectations. If some members fail to do their duties the continued functioning of the larger activity is threatened.

Deviance may undermine organization by destroying people's willingness to play their parts. Deviance offends people's sense of justice and makes uneven the ratio between effort and reward. Deviance may also provoke bitterness and resentment. It may also damage one's determination one's determination to play one's role according to the rules.

The most destructive impact of deviance on organization is through its impact on trust, on confidence that others will by and large play by the rules. Each participant to the collective enterprise suppresses some of his impulses makes some sacrifice of time, money and labor, rejects illegal temptations. He does this on the assumption that if plays by the rules so will other. Distrust even if it is unfounded weakens organization by undermining motivation; to distrust others is to see one's effort as pointless, wasted and foolish and the future as hazardous and uncertain.