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Deviane and Social Control, By Linda Deutschmann. Very helpful.


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCB50H3
Professor
Joe Hermer

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Chapter 1 t Issues in the Study of Deviance
WHY STUDY DEVIANCE?
x Typical reasons for studying deviance discussed below, along with some indication of how each motive van affect the
enterprise of understanding deviance
Vicarious Experience
x Vicarious Experience: living (in our heads) the more apparently more exciting or interesting lives of
others or by investigating them and discovering that our lives are preferable (we can use to enrich our lives)
x Fascination with deviance indirect way of coping with forbidden urges most of us suppress as we group up
x Àv(}u}}v(}u]vP}(µU]vZu}ovvµo]}v}(À]o[Æ]
o Eg: Once in a while, stop trying to be right all the time
x Sensual attractions seduce some ppl into deviance, entice some into voyeurism and inspire others to seek
increased understanding through careful research
x Vicarious living is a habit our culture reinforces t tv ratings prove that watching conniving ppl treat each
other badly more interesting than watching orderly ppl be good, responsible citizens
x Vicariously, we can experience the thrill without taking the risks, of deviance
x V/E as a research motivation can distort our understanding of deviance t leads us to study rare specimens
of deviance (eg: homosexual-necrophiliac-cannibal-serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer), and a lack of attention to the
more frequent but banal forms of deviance such as cheating, exploiting and living on the edge
x It increases commonsense errors of seeing the dividing line b/w normal and deviant as much clearer than it really is
Reform
x Sometimes an interest in reform is personal t victims of crime often become experts on the criminal justice system
x Sometimes the interest is more abstract and professional but still oriented toward changing something
x Some study it b/c we recognize that knowing how and whether to do something about deviance has value
x ]}À]vPZo]uv]}v}(Z]vµ~(u]oÇÀ]}ovYo}}o]]
x Revealing that some fears about deviance are unnecessary and exaggerated (fears of ppl with mental illnesses) also
satisfying, eventually allowing for the liberation of ppl who are just a bit different and for their inclusion as part of an
enriched community
x Reform as a research motivation has its own dangers:
o Our search for reform policies sometimes outruns our tested knowledge
Assumption that lack of self-esteem causes delinquent behavior can result in programs that
produce proud delinquents rather than ex-delinquents
The story of the study of deviance cont]vuvÇo}(ZÆ[~Z}v}oo}(À]v
whose misguided advice and policies cause great harm
o The belief that understanding means excusing often interferes when reform is the motivation
Ppl who want to reform deviants sometimes afraid to consider the deviant perspective seriously
Criminal profilers though, have learned they can be more successful if they set their own
]}u(}]vVZ]vlo]lZ}[
o Reform impulse ignores the fact that many kinds of deviance not as harmful as made out to be
Historical record shows us many things that were deviant a generation ago (women going to med
school) are now seen as precursors of social change
These claims of harmfulness part of propaganda used by those with vested interests to defend
them against a practice that is new, rather than a proven reality about some behaviour/ppl
Self-Protection and Sophistication
x Being knowledgeable about tactics of cult recruiters, muggers, terrorists can make us feel wiser and safer though
researching these tactics can be dangerous and difficult
x Equally valuable is the ability to recognize some deviants are not as harmful as their demonized reputations imply, so
we do not become caught up in moral panics about things better left alone
x Best to protect ourselves from the real threats in our lives rather than concern ourselves almost
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