abnormal


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abnormal

deviating from the usual pattern of behaviour (or social structure), especially where this is viewed as maladjustment or DYSFUNCTION.

Any sociological use of the term faces the problem of determining ‘normality’. For example, DURKHEIM made the assumption that the average social form at a particular level of social development was also the functional form. However, whilst conceptions of functional normality and abnormality may be relatively clear in relation to biological organisms, the utility of these concepts in sociology has been widely questioned. With the exception of Durkheim and functionalist sociology, sociologists have usually conceptualized individual and social variability and deviation from established patterns of behaviour in other terms than ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’. See also DISABILITY.

References in classic literature ?
From these several reasons, namely, the improbability of man having formerly got seven or eight supposed species of pigeons to breed freely under domestication; these supposed species being quite unknown in a wild state, and their becoming nowhere feral; these species having very abnormal characters in certain respects, as compared with all other Columbidae, though so like in most other respects to the rock-pigeon; the blue colour and various marks occasionally appearing in all the breeds, both when kept pure and when crossed; the mongrel offspring being perfectly fertile;--from these several reasons, taken together, I can feel no doubt that all our domestic breeds have descended from the Columba livia with its geographical sub-species.
But she had begun to suspect, by some involuntary betrayal of mine, that there was an abnormal power of penetration in me--that fitfully, at least, I was strangely cognizant of her thoughts and intentions, and she began to be haunted by a terror of me, which alternated every now and then with defiance.
That there was, indeed, beauty and harmony in those abnormal moments, that they really contained the highest synthesis of life, he could not doubt, nor even admit the possibility of doubt.
In his early life as well as later, spasmodic fits of abnormal mental activity when he 'gorged' books, especially the classics, as he did food, alternated with other fits of indolence.
Her lack of nervousness, her placidity, was abnormal, so abnormal that she closed her eyes and was almost immediately asleep.
By dint of superhuman effort, and putting such a seal upon their lips as never mortals put before, the two girls succeeded in keeping their wonderful news to themselves; although it was obvious to all beholders that they were in an extraordinary and abnormal state of mind.
Rather, as there was something abnormal and misbegotten in the very essence of the creature that now faced me--something seizing, surprising and revolting-- this fresh disparity seemed but to fit in with and to reinforce it; so that to my interest in the man's nature and character, there was added a curiosity as to his origin, his life, his fortune and status in the world.
Similarly those abnormal psychic states which are not inborn, but arise from the concomitance of certain other elements, and are difficult to remove, or altogether permanent, are called qualities, for in virtue of them men are said to be such and such.
I conceive that very few men are attracted by abnormal strength in a woman; we cannot help it; and yet it was not her strength which first repelled me in Mrs.
He was frankly horrified at the idea that had come to him, it was murder that he was meditating; and he wondered if other people had such thoughts or whether he was abnormal and depraved.
He had grown so stout this year that he would have been abnormal had he not been so tall, so broad of limb, and so strong that he carried his bulk with evident ease.
His first instinct was to sniff, and a sense of relief crept through him when he realized that this room, at any rate, was free from abnormal odors.