Deviance – Lecture 1
What is Deviance?
What you find deviant depends on your standpoint on deviance.
Deviance is also contextual.
Humans are distinct because we have imaginations and can foresee consequences for our
Why Study Deviance?
1) The Vicarious Experience
- Reality TV
- Like watching awful deviance (ex. Dexter)
- Experiencing the thrill without actually taking the risk
It has its issues though:
- It can distort the perception of things by forcing us to stare at the hardbodies
instead of the softbodies (serial killers in comparison to shoplifters)
- Deviance isn’t marginalized because social norms change (ex. a pregnant lady
smoking a cigarette)
- Trying to fix deviance
o Most people go in to this type of work because some own personal trauma
- If someone labels some a deviant this also comes from a personal trauma
makes you an advocate for reform
o Try to take the deviant label away by using other terms (ex. mentally ill)
- Conflict that comes with social change generally labels people as deviant
- People with some sort of power invest interest in labelling a group as deviant
3) Self protection & sophistication
- Knowing an understanding deviance makes us feel safer and smarter
- When you understand circumstances and situations you feel safer and smarter
- We also learn that something’s aren’t as scary as we’re told they are
- By understanding things we can avoid getting caught up in things that aren’t just
random moral dilemmas, but we can focus on things that ACTUALLY matter
4) Understanding Oneself and Others
- Some people like to be deviant
- Doing drugs
- Dressing up on Halloween - Birthdays and New Years,