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SOC 1100 Lecture Notes - White-Collar Crime, The Chances

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Deviance and the “Dead Heads”
Without social groups and social organization, there can be no norms and hence no
deviance. Deviance, by its very nature, implies groups and a social context. What is
deviance and how do you recognize it in the world around you? It can be seen in any
group, however small, and ranges from actions that might elicit raised eyebrows to
violence and organized crime. Some crime takes place within an organizational context
(e.g. white collar crime or violent crime in hockey.)
What does it mean to say that one finds deviance in every social setting and that deviance
has positive functions for society?
From the perspective of mainstream society, “Dead Heads” (fans and followers of the
Grateful Dead) are deviants. If you watch the video with deviance in mind, you will
notice that there is deviance (and, necessarily, social control) within Dead Head society
From another perspective, you can analyze Dead Head society in terms of “social groups”
and organizations. You can see norms and values emerging through interaction within
the groups and observe the creation of that all-important sense of belonging. There is
also clear evidence of social organization and even formal organization in the lives of
the Grateful Dead and its followers. There are also global networks involved. How
would you describe the Dead Heads in terms of the concepts outlined and in Chapter 9?
You might consider the applicability of structural-functional, social-conflict, and
symbolic-interaction perspectives of the analysis of Dead Head society. Is there any one
research method that you would expect to be most fruitful in coming to terms with Dead
Calendar: This is a super film about the fans (literally followers) of the Grateful Dead.
They have created a real community, with its own subculture, that moves from concert to
concert with the band. Some of the analysis is done for you – not necessarily by
sociologists – but that shouldn’t stop you from doing some of your own thinking about
the film. Think about culture, subculture and counterculture – about social solidarity,
social control, community, identity and self-image.
Notes during the movie:
- Emphasizes human creativity – we have created the world we live in by using our
minds, and we can also change it (2 mins)
- What separates deadheads from the mainstream, what are their social norms
- Persistence of subculture
oG.d. are attached to (?) check audio
oLoyal to their fans, (let them do taping – to experience live concert when it
ends until the next one); play different music every night; dead freaks
unite – gave people an identity
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