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Sociology 275 Week 1

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Queen's University
SOCY 275
Vincent F Sacco

Sociology 275: Week 1 Why study deviance?  The relationship to key sociological questions  Sociology and debunking  Sociology and political action—take attempts towards social control, and use it against a certain group of people  Sociology and personal troubles What is deviance? Devia (latin)- there is a path that most of us are on, and there are people who depart from that path; making them deviant In absolutist terms  For some people distinction between the deviant and the non-deviant is completely non-problematic  They would argue that some things are simply deviant in and of themselves  There are certain kinds of things that are innately deviant Than how do we explain?  The variability in what is and what is not deviant: from time to time; from place to place Defining deviance  When students are asked in a classroom to define deviance a first response is to list types of people or types of behaviours that they think deserve the label  Most of us would have no trouble coming up with a long short-list of deviants which could include (but would not be restricted to) criminals, child molesters, drug addicts, alcoholics, the mentally ill, members of religious cults, liars ect.  However the problem of this is that we all have different criteria of what we consider deviant  There are disagreements with who are what are in and who and what are out September 12, 2013 Defining Deviance Statistical terms  Statistical rarity suggest a more explicit way of thinking about the meaning of deviance  In This sense deviant behaviour and deviant people are identifiable on the basis of their infrequency of occurrence  A normal curve describes a large number of phenomena, the top of the curve showing normal behaviour, and the bottom showing deviant  These curves seem to have a metric of clarity to what we define as deviance; we can do this across situations and places  Despite this clarity is that it lacks precision  On the normal curve, where does the deviance start? This has no absolute answer  It fails to distinguish that which is consequential from that which in not, so what, why do we care about the data we have been given. If we rely simply on the statics, we never get a sense of what matters over other things  The more dimension, when something is moral, it is put on a line between good or bad. When someone calls you a deviant it generally has a negative connotation. It generally means an assessment of people that implies a negative evaluation or judgment about the person  For example, when looking at grades, people who get very high grade and people who get very low grades are both considered deviant, and statistical information and cannot distinguish that some is a good deviance and some is bad  If we take statistical definition as deviance as the true definition, than we are saying that something always happen more than other. However when thinking about the moral side, there are things that everyone do that are deviant, but everyone does it. For example downloading music, lying and masturbation  The problem with stati
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