Ch.3 Prescientific Approaches to Deviance
Witchcraft is important to the study of deviance because it provides a pragmatic example
(an especially useful model) of the process whereby authorities, sometimes even against
resistance from their less powerful subjects, can create deviants.
Myths, Parables, And Stories
Before the enlightenment brought us science, rationality, and an empirically bound reality,
people understood life in terms of myths, folklore, parables, and stories. These tales
described their experiences and, in a nonscientific way, explained them.
Most of our secular tales are ambivalent about deviance, in that they do not regard it as
The deviant character is frequently more likeable and sympathetic than characters who
teach and correct
This ambivalence about deviance and control is reflected in the culturally universal
Everything the trickster does is permeated with laughter, irony, with and deviance. The
trickster is also a god, a god that is not above us all but rather immanent in life itself and
in the community.
Examples of Demonic D