Have you ever heard the phrase “defining deviancy downward”? In the early 90’s, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan sparked controversy by using this phrase to address what he and others believed was a devolution of our socio-cultural standards. Essentially, Moynihan suggested that we were allowing behaviors previously defined as “deviant” to become accepted as “normal” behavior. He suggested that American society was beginning to accept what was previously unacceptable. In a May 23rd video, Robert Reich describes various facets of contemporary instances of what he sees as defining deviancy downward, a devolution that is occurring right before our eyes.
As always, this seekingGood blog encourages you to think for yourself. Better yet, do some research to expand your knowledge of this issue of devolving values. Perhaps you do not agree with these ideas at all. Especially if you do agree, you might want to take a look at a dissenting view which appeared in a 1994 edition of Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture.
Robert Reich is an American political commentator, professor, and author. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. If you find this video interesting, you might want to check out Professor Reich’s YouTube channel for frequent videos of this kind, posted under the name ResistancE is FertilE.
NOTE: This video was originally posted on YouTube on May 23rd, 2017. Mr. Reich makes references to what were then “current” events.