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Gaddafi: The Deviant and The Perspectives

Updated on September 21, 2012

A deviant is someone who goes against the norms and expectations that everyone in society is expected to follow. In America, a deviant can be someone who isn’t trying to be successful, does something illegal, or doesn’t work to maintain our society. An example of a deviant would be Muammar Gaddafi, who was the ruler of the Libyan Republic. He was a deviant because he seized power and established laws based off of what he thought was wrong and right instead of allowing the people he was reigning over to have some kind of input. He destroyed the Libyan Constitution because he didn’t like it beliefs and the rights that the constitution gave to the people. He tried to set up his own type of government, instead of trying to follow the one that was already preset. The people and rebels did not like this idea at all and a war was started. In the end, Gaddafi’s forces were defeat, Gaddafi was captured alive, and beaten to death by rebels. In an American’s perspective, he was a deviant because he seized power, didn’t follow the norms/expectations of society, and decided to become rich and successful by the means of doing something illegal.

The functionalist perspective would describe deviance as being something that is necessary in order to show others what is right and what is wrong. When a deviant person is punished, this shows others that they shouldn’t go against norms and expectations of society. Deviance is necessary in order to maintain society because it will always be a part of our lives and helps to maintain social stability. In the case of Gaddafi, the functionalist theorist would describe him as a deviant because of instead of trying to work hard and becoming successful, he seizes power over the country without any consent of the people, proper education, experience, etc. He was a rebel, who didn’t care to follow the laws and customs of society. The American perspective would describe Gaddaffi as a deviant, who expected those around them to disregard the laws and listen to his viewpoints and opinions because he felt that they were right. I agree with this perspective because I feel that the only way people will learn what is right and what is wrong is if we see what is right and what is wrong from the actions and mistakes of others around us. My classmates’ perspective is that they disagree with this perspective because they feel that we don’t have to follow along with what everyone else is doing, that everyone is entitled to do what they want to do with their lives. I feel that my classmates’ perspective is right but shouldn’t necessarily see deviance as being something without a positive consequence.

The interactionist perspective would describe deviance as behavior that is obtained from social interactions with others around us. This explains why deviance still exists despite the pressure around us to obey the norms and expectations of society. In Gaddafi’s case, the interactionist perspective would feel that he is a deviant that shows others what happens if you defy the laws and norms and how that could change your entire way of life. For example, he changed the laws, paid the people low wages, controlled their every move, and received all of the money that was made in the country of Libya. He showed the people in Libya that despite the fact that deviance has positive consequences that it can have some horrible negative consequences that could leave you striving to survive. The American perspective would be that Gaddafi’s actions were unnecessary and in the end lead to his death. Also, the American perspective would say that the environment of Libya is one that has been in chaos for years with no official government ruling over them and that the economy has plummeted because of the absence of social structure. I agree with this perspective because I feel that there are some people who do go along with others because of the environment that surrounds them. My classmates disagree with this perspective because they feel that an environment doesn’t control your actions and that you are the one who makes the overall decisions.

The conflict perspective would describe deviance as people in power only protecting themselves and defining deviance in a way that would benefit them. In Gadaffi’s case, the conflict perspective would seem him as a defiant that was only looking out for his own interests and did not care about the people or their opinion. He threw out the old constitution, which was established by the people and made up his own laws that would benefit only him. He tried to start his own government with no input or help from the people; he was supposed to be governing. He seized power because he didn’t like the way the country was being run. In the American perspective, Gaddafi was only looking out for himself and did not care about others that were beneath him. My perspective is that I agree with the perspective because I feel like those of higher power do not care about those beneath them. My classmates also agree with this perspective and that the wealthy only care about whether or not if they are making money.

Overall, the perspective I agree with the most is the conflict perspective. I agree with the conflict perspective because I do feel as if the rich only look out for the rich. I feel that some people in power did not work hard to be in that position but were simply born into that status of power. I feel that the wealthy would only care about those beneath them, is if everyone decided not to come to work anymore, which would result in money not being made, and the wealthy not making money.


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    • torrilynn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      It is fine. I appreciate the feedback of criticism of my hubs. It helps to make me a better writer. Thank you

    • sweetie1 profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Very nicely written hub. Gaddafi ruled Libya over 25 years with iron rod and destroyed every opposition. Of course him and USA not being friends has nothing to do that he was tyrant or anti democracy because USA has supported such regimes all over world so long it suited them ( Shah of Iran, Saudi Arabia etc) but because he was partial to USSR in cold war days. Also I think if no one come to work then probably rich wont make money but the kids of the workers would sleep empty stomach so loss is more of poor guy than rich guy. But on the whole interesting reading and sorry for being straight forward. Voting up and interesting.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great insights on Gaddafi. While he is vilianized in America, he is highly regarded on the other side of the world for getting his people out of poverty and for having one of the few countries in the world with no debt. Very interesting perspectives!


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