Definition Of Civil Disobedience

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In order to answer the question on whether civil disobedience is a deviant act or not, we need to first define what a “deviant act” is. A deviant act is a term that is used to describe any behavior that does not conform to the norms or expectations of a particular group and is usually disapproved of, socially challenged, or condemned by a large number of people. There are two types of deviance: positive and negative. While positive deviance is when over-conformation takes place, negative falls below the expectations of others in the group. Civil disobedience is the refusal to conform to a certain law or policy in a form of peaceful or non-violent political protest. However, it is still illegal and considered as a crime and deviant act as it goes against the law (a formal norm) enforced by the government.
In this essay, two different sociological perspectives, namely the functionalist and symbolic interactionist perspectives, will be applied to analyzing the issue of civil disobedience. In the case of the Umbrella Movement, civil disobedience falls under the category of positive deviance. This is because the protestors are simply over-conforming to once again remind the government how the existing method for selecting the chief executive goes against Hong Kong’s human rights treaty, binding agreements that require the government to establish mechanisms that allow for equal, meaningful participation in public life. Their goal is to
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