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Lecture 1/2 Review: Sociology of Deviance

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Western University
Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

Lecture 1 and 2 Sociology of DevianceWhy Study Deviance y The vicarious experience o Experiencing the thrill of deviance without actually performing the behaviour o Example reality television o Freud would say it is the suppressed urgesnatural to want to step outside of the box of conformity o We are happier watching people being deviant than watching people conforming o Not the best for researchcant study it objectively everyones deviance is different o Hs recently moved away from the extremesmore mundane things ex men stepping out of gender roles and being stay at home dadsdeviance isnt marginal we are all deviant in some way y Reform o An attempt at changing policiesmaking communities better shape a better understanding of why bad things happen o Deviance often stems from personal experiencepain ex John Walsh from Americas most wantedmotivating factors o Not good for researchresearch for policies outruns our tested knowledge textbook o Policies are sometimes counterproductive delinquents thought to be caused by lack of self esteem do things to raise their self esteemjust causes them to be a delinquent with high self esteem instead of solving their delinquent problem o Sometimes under reform people mistake understanding deviant behaviour from excusing it o Often ignores many kinds of deviance are not as badharmful as they are made out to beexaggerating the harm of the deviant behaviours o Result of propagandanot as harmful as it is made out to be ex women being able to vote go to medical school etcprecursor for social change o Usually people defending their own interesto Usually those in power have something to gain in labeling someonea characteristic deviant o Deviance a social constructionpeople defining what isisnt normalacceptable ex pharmaceutical industrymedicalizing people and their behaviour y Self protection and sophistication o Makes us feel smart and safewant to understand something o Removing the darkness of somethingmakes it less scary o Way that we can focus on what is really a threat vs getting caught up in moral panics things that arent really harmful ex person with HIV swimming in public pool y Understanding oneself and others o Some people enjoy having a deviant image even if it only once in a while ex Halloween o In some situations we are completely different than we are in other situations ex how you dress to go to the bar vs Sunday dinner with the familyLady Gaga etc o Learning about one persons choices makes our own choices more clear y Intellectual curiosity oo Sometimes we are just plain curious o Good research tires to find what lies behind the visas created by authoritywe just want to know why people do what they do o Our opinions of deviance depends greatly on our standpointwe all come from different places all of these factors influence how we view the world and how we might study it
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