SOC212H1s—LECTURE 5: CONSTRUCTING DEVIANCE
Criminalization of Marijuana
• Reefer Madness (1936)
• Contributed to Marijuana Tax Act of 1937
• Decriminalization & Legalization increasingly discussed
• Marijuana being termed the “gateway drug”?
• Chicago School of Ethnography—What’s the process by which certain things that
cause more harm are not prohibited, while others causing less harm are?
• Progressively increase the tax on Alcohol/ banning ads… World Health Org.
Using material from the three readings, discuss what are moral panics.
• Moral panics as discussed by Reinerman are created by moral entrepreneurs
(individuals with power who are able to shape and define behaviours/actions as
deviant) I.e. political elites, organizations—these panics are used to manage “the
contradiction between a temperance culture of self control and mass
o Those who construct moral meanings and associate them with particular
acts or conditions by drawing on power and resources of:
Symbols or ideas
Communication to audiences
What role does power play in the process of constructing deviance?
• Two facets of deviance making process
o Rule creators—politician/ teacher and Rule enforces police/judges
Claims making: dangermsgs are generated about specific issues such as drunk driving,
hate crimes, second hand smoke, outsourcing, school violence
• In this stage we’ll draw upon experts and employ several rhetorical methods
including stats and particular case ex.
• What are the claims people are making for xyz? Generating specific claims
Second Stage involves moral conversion or convincing others
• Claims makers must draw on elements of drama, novelty, political and cultural
myths to gain visibility for their issue
• They seek to attract media attention through hunger strikes, demonstrations, civil