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
- 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