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Chapter 1: the Deviant Mystique

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SOC 223
Robert Prus

Chapter 1: Encountering the Deviant Mystique  Deviance: any activity, actor, idea or humanly produced situation that an audience defines as threatening, disturbing, offensive, immoral, evil, disreputable, or negative in some way o Nothing is inherently good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate o Deviance is social; brought into existence when defined by an audience  Product of human activity o Social construction of deviance and people’s involvements in aspects of deviance making process  Objective: develop theoretical statement on deviance informed by research that deals with people’s experiences and practices as they engage in worlds constituting human community Framing the Analysis 1. Establish definitions of phenomena as “deviant” 2. Become identified as deviances 3. Become involved in deviance implicated activities and networks 4. Sustain involvement in practices and life worlds 5. Attempt to regulate deviance informally and through control agencies  Standpoints are adopted by: o Moralists  Focus on matters of judging, directing and controlling people’s situations, behaviours, and experiences  Promote / invoke evaluative standpoints where deviance may be defined o Idealists  Deny authenticity of human knowing and acting  Attempt to talk deviance out of existence  Reduce everything to realm of words, concepts or ideas (anything can be anything) o Structuralists  Explain deviance by virtue of interplay of internal and external factors thought to cause people to act in certain matters  Quantitative, positivist  Studying nonhuman essences or biophysical features of humans o Interactionalists  Social essence that is produced by minded, acting and interacting people who engage one another in full range of community contexts  Study the process which human group life in all of its moralities and other manifestations take place  Recognize authenticity of people’s knowledge, moralities, interpretations and judgments as meaningful foci of study  Emphasize centrality of activity for comprehending human condition for comprehending human condition  Shares common concerns with structuralist  Asks how people make sense of situations which they find themselves in and act towards things of their awareness  How people infer causality and how people enter into causal process o Knowing, anticipating, deliberating, interacting, assessing, and adjustive agents  It’s people who give things meaning or bring objects into existence  Meaningful in symbolic or linguistic terms  Social science that attends to unique, socially achieve or constructed nature of meaningful human endeavor  Neither subjectivists or objectivists, but intersubjectivist stance  Symbolically enabled and actively constituted nature of human
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