Disorderly Behaviour

Compare and contrast two accounts of disorderly behaviour 

Disorderly behaviour refers to individuals who are deemed to not be following the rules of society, the rules of society proves a difficult question to fully get hold of, where do rules and regulations come from and who decides what is order and what is disorder? These questions are interesting to social scientists in their quest to discover the how, what and why about people and society. In this assignment we will firstly compare and contrast the theories from Erving Goffman and Michael Foucault  to devour understanding of how social order is created, Secondly we will compare and contrast Stanley Cohen and Stuart Hall’s theories which discuss what social order is and who is in control of making and keeping social order. 

Firstly to understand disorderly behaviour we must understand what social order is. Social order gives us a sense of the way society is shaped and “how individuals all fit together in shared space” (Silva 2009, P. 308) In everyday life we all follow a set of “norms” (Silva 2009, P. 307) a range of expectations shared by individuals based on how society should behave this maintains social order, when these “norms” (Silva 2009, P. 307) are not adhered to they can lead to disorderly behaviour. To help clarify this we will use the following example, a UK driver follows rules about “speed limit, traffic lights, (and which) side of the road to drive on”. (Silva 2009, P. 307) If we do not follow “the rules of the road” (Silva 2009, P. 308) a   number of things can occur such as traffic accidents and traffic violations, these breaches can prove threatening to others in society and be deemed as disorderly behaviour. 

Sociologist Erving Goffman focuses on the “social patterns of everyday life interactions” (Silva 2009, P. 309) whilst on the other hand Michael Foucault focuses on the “power of knowledge and discourse”. (Silva 2009, P. 309) These two scientists had different approaches to...