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Lecture 1: Why Study Deviance

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Course Code
Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

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th Sociology of Deviance September 14 (570) Why do we study deviance? – Who makes rules? Who upholds order? – Who is labelled deviant? The study of deviance is about social control. 1) The Vicarious Experience - Living through someone else. - excitement, seeing the world through a deviant other - desire to step out of the box - How has our culture made this a habit? The media, reality tv. - example, that one friend who is a little wild.... - However, it can distort our understanding of deviance, and focus on the one in a million, the serial killers for example. (Historically sociology focuses on the outsiders example prostitutes) – Deviance is not marginalized. It is not far away from the general population 2) Reform - Study to change policy. - Make your community better - understand why bad things happen -Study of deviance often comes from personal experience or personal pain. John Walsh? hosts americas most wanted because his sonAdam was kidnapped and killed. – Change peoples minds about what is deviant.Advocate for reform. – Taking away the deviant label from a group of people. Ex 80s movement for HIV – Conflict that comes with social change... those people are often labelled deviant – change moral rhetoric, ex prohibition – There is usually someone who will gain from labelling something deviant 3) Self protection and sophistication - Makes people feel safer and smarter - read the book “the gift of fear” by Gavin Debecker - behaviour analysis, teaches people how to use instincts to survive - Also teaches you to keep yourself safe as mentioned in previous book - learn somethings are not as scary as we are told they are - “real” threat instead of moral panic 4) Understanding Oneself and Others - Some people enjoy being deviant even once in a while, ex Halloween, celebrities - Learn from others, make your own choices clearer 5) Intellectual Curiosity - Want to know why people do what they do - try to learn what happens behind the facade - Standpoint “Coined by canadian sociologist Dorthy Smith” is everything about you.Age, gender, culture, experience, religion. Ones standpoint depicts how we interpret the world. Academic Views of Deviance – Prior to the 1960s academics focused on outsiders, mental illness, drug addicts etc – because they are easy access. They lack power. – If yo
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