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Deviance First Midterm.docx

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SOC 223
Robert Prus

Encountering the Deviant Mystique Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:42 PM Readings and Lecture Topic: Was Rudolph a deviant??  He was both, deviant and non-deviant, the red nose did not disappear but because became helpful and the opinion about it changed  Its how other people define you, which decides whether you are deviant or not  Cultural relativism: every culture has their own view on what is and isn't right  We have to put the deviance mystic aside; if you cant you wont be able to truly find out what is going on because your view will be clouded  Difference doesn't mean Deviance- because difference does not necessarily mean it is negative 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  Deviance is social in its very definition; brought into existence only when something is so defined by an audience  It is a group phenomenon  "Socially constructed phenomenon"  When we look at the broader community and focus on the way people actually do things, we discover the practical limitations of attempting to explain deviance by commonly reference structural factors such as class, gender, age, and race  These structural factors have nothing to do whether someone is deviant or not!  Deviance exists because and when people invoke definitions of negativity in dealing with one another  You cant explain someone's behaviour from your view point  Can you be deviant by yourself??  Yes, because you for the most part know if the act you are doing is deviant or not deviant o Approaches to deviance The moralist  Focus on matters of judging, directing, and controlling people's situations, behaviours, and experiences  Promote or invoke particular evaluative standpoints by which deviance may be defined, deviants may be identified and control effects may be implemented The idealists  Denies the authenticity of human knowing ; talk deviance out of existence by reducing everything to the realm of words, concepts, or ideas, wherein anything can be anything  Can talk or redefine deviance out of existence  The totalizing relativism might only attain viability in a world in which no on ever did anything but the human world is a world of activity The structuralists  Or positivists/ quantitative (numbers)  Attempt to explain deviance by virtue of interplay of factors thought to cause people to act in certain manners  Ask 'why' or 'what makes' people do things  Studying non-human essences or the biophysical features of humans  Focus on the CAUSE (X->Y= outcome effect)  Uses numbers Interactionists  Adopted in this volume has a distinctively pragmatist emphasis and envisions deviance as a social essence that is produced by minded acting, and interacting people who engage one another in the full range of community contexts  Study the process by which human life takes place  Recognize the authenticity of people's knowledge , moralities, interpretations, and judgments as meaningful foci of study, and emphasizing the centrality of activity (and humanly engaged objects) for comprehending the human condition  "how" people make sense of the situations in which they find themselves and act toward the things of their awareness  People who give things meanings or bring objects into existence (as meaningful essences)-> in symbolic or linguistic terms  Intersubjectivist stance: the symbolically enabled and actively constituted nature of the human community (shared-> reality)  Using the interactionist approach you find out what people actually do and focus on the activity (CAUSALITY)  To understand a group of people, you need to spend time with them (thoughts, plans, adjustments) o Objective: if you cant measure it, it does not exist. Its good across all realms o Subjective: means it is unique; you cant explain anything because everyone is different o Deviant mystique: the auras that people generate in the process of defining something in negative or disruputable terms; shows how thoroughly notions of deviance may be embedded as enacted realities within human communities Being intrigued by something that deviant ("How did this come about", Why would they do this") Pragmatism Symbolic Interaction  The ways that people define things Inter-subjective (group)  Without the group you wouldn't know where you are, or who you are  From the group, they decide what is cool, right, good, bad etc.  For us, there are multiple realities  As many realities are there are groups; and within the group that think that is right and acceptable  Structuralists think that they have figured it out because they have measured it; it is very speculative  They dont hang around the people that are smoking but they give them questionnaires to find out what they do  They then put it into charts and "know" why they have become like so Ethnography:  We would want to study how you felt during this experience, even if you didnt follow through with it  Studying their thoughts and considerations Intersubjective Accomplishment Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:37 PM Reading Chapter 2 and Lecture Topic:  Science vs. Morality  Science- examining what is  What is the nature of this phenomenon (trying to get understanding)  Community life  Morality- examining what it should be  Set of values  Each group has their own set of ideas-> perspectives  Sociology  Auguste Comte  Based his study on a group or community  Saw community life as social physics  He was a positivist-> social engineering  Structuralist  Independent variable and dependent variable  All about community  Correlation-> outcomes are based on structures How Do People Enter Into the Process as Agents Interationist  HOW HOW HOW  Community Life  Intersubjective  It is not objective or subjective it is, INTERsubjective  Based on people sharing meanings with others; every group develops meaning for things  Shared set of symbols or languages  It is an ongoing process  LANGUAGE  Reflectivity  Grounded in the fact that you have to distinguish yourself from others  An object unto yourself  Then you can answer the question (What am I going to wear or do?)  AGENCY  Perspectival  Which leads to Reflectivity...  Multi-perspectives or views points  Activity  Makes people feel meaningful  Creates purpose and meaning  Negotiable  They can think about it and then make a decision  Relational  Creating bonds and making meaningful relationships out of this  Developing  Processual  Its gradual and develops over time  What takes place over time and how people are engaging into it over time  We want to see how deviants are getting involves in their process  Causality: how are people making sense of things/ what are they doing/ how are they relating to other people  Ethnography  How people go about doing whatever  You learn about people by spending time with them so that you can learn about their reality  You try to establish INTERSUBJECTIVITY  So then you know what they are doing COMPARED TO STRUCTURALIST  When compared to Reflectivity  Only based on factors not on the individual  When compared to Activity  There is no activity  When compared to causality  ASK WHY Social interaction: a moving process in which the participants are defining and interpreting each other's acts Important to realize the process of designation and American pragmatism provided a highly consequential conceptual frame for what would become known as symbolic interaction Pragmatists focused on the ways (actualities and practices) that people do things The broader emphasis was on the ways that people engage one another amidst the various associations, interactional contexts, and transitions that constitute group life in the making Problem solving activities in the here and now Work with multiplistic, wherein things acquire meaning virtue of the ways in which people act toward them General emphasis on people as a community-based, language-using, reflective beings who possess capacities to act mindfully of their own situations and in conjunction with others Activity is not only seen as a humanly generated product but as a deliberate, developmental, adjustive process that could be modified even as it was being developed George Herbert Mead and Herbert Blumer are symbolic interactionists Blumer introduced the term 'symbolic interaction' in 1937 Blumer synthesized Mead's pragmatist philosophy with the ethnography research Mead provided what became the central theoretical frame for symbolic interactionism Symbolic Interactionism  Field research is an integral feature of symbolic interactionism  Theory exists as a developmental process  The study of the ways in which people make sense of heir life-situations and accomplish their activities, in conjunction with others, on a day to day basis  People are born into pre-existing groups or communities  How people do things within the context of community life  The human life is group life; that human life is thoroughly intersubjective in its essence  People may align their activities to more adequately fit with their intentions, shifting interests, and any other matters that they take into consideration in their more immediate situations Basic Assumptions Features of group life Human group life is inter-subjective  Reflects a shared linguistic or symbolic reality; cannot be reduced to individual properties Human group life is (multi)perspectival  People distinguish and develop meanings for objects as they interact with one another and develop styles of relating to those objects  Operate in versions of multiple realities that they share Human group is reflective  Through interaction with others, and by taking the viewpoint of the other with respect to oneself, people develop capacities to become objects of their own awareness  "self reflectivity"  Human agency Human group life is activity-based  Organized around the doing, constructing, building, and coordinating of behaviours  There is no requirement that the activity needs to be successful Human group life is negotiable  Acknowledging the abilities of people to influence and resist the influence of others Human life is relational  People associate somewhat with a selectively with others as they develop affliations with other members of the communities in which they find themselves Human group life is processual  Experiences are viewed as emergent and ongoing social constructions or productions Ethnographic Research: Questing for Intimate Familiarity People studying people should attend to  The intersubjective nature of human behaviour  The viewpoints of those whose worlds they purport to examine  The interpretations or meanings that people attach to themselves, other people, and other objects of their experience  The ways in which people do things on both a solitary and interactive basis  The attempts that people make to influence others  The bonds that people develop with others over time and the ways in which they attend to these relationships  The processes, natural histories or sequences of activities, exchanges, and events that people develop and experience over time Ethnographers rely on three primary sources on data  Observations  Internal and external  Witnessing through audio and visual sense but also through documentaries, diaries, records etc  Observational material is still too limited on its own  Participant-Observation  Allows the researcher to get much closer to the lived experiences of the participants than does straight observation  Role-involvements enable the researchers to access the experiences of others  A more active and interactive setting and ambiguous role  Interviews  Extended, open-ended inquiries in to the experiences of others represent the third and generally the single MOST IMPORTANT method of gathering ethnographic data  Researchers are able to achieve the next level of intersubjectivity  Interview material is much more valuable  Avoid imposing their own concepts and moralities on the other  The objective of ethnographic research is to represent the other as fully and accurately as possible Theaters of Operation: Deviance as Community Enterprise Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:33 PM Chapter 3: Readings Topic: Three Major Arenas of Involvement 1. Experiencing Deviance 2. Managing Trouble 3. Participating in Public Forums Experiencing Deviance  There are 5 forms of participation: o Practitioners, supporting casts, implicated parties, vicarious participants, and targets  Practitioners o People may become involved in this or that form of deviance through multiple routings and that they may do so with a variety definitions pertaining to the situation at hand o Others may find particular fascinations in doing deviance acts Supporting Roles  o Although they may make contact with particular deviants or realms of deviance in any number of ways, some people may begin to envision various personal and economic advantages to catering to particular deviants o May play integral roles in facilitating and accommodating deviance; providing places for disreputable people to meet o E.g. The importance of sex trade for the financial survival of some bars (biker bars, hooker bars)  Becoming Implicated o Those who live with or have other close associations with those they know to be "deviants" o These people find themselves learning about particular forms of deviances not by choice, but because one or more of their associates is involved in some particular realm of deviance o These people may get caught up in the 'deviant mystique' by virtue of impact of the deviant other on their personal lives  Vicarious Participants o Role-taking is an essential feature of human group life o To live vicariously requires you that one experience aspects of the situation of the other in one's mind or attend to an imagined sense of what the other is experiencing in some situation  Target Roles o Social scientists have to be extremely cautious when writing about the experiences of those who identify themselves as the recipients of unwanted features of the behaviours of others o A rigorous attentiveness to the viewpoints of ALL parties involved and an extended consideration of the ways in which the various participants define and act toward themselves and others over time as they engage the situation at hand Managing Trouble  Moral entrepreneur: those who define trouble in the setting
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