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Chapter 1

SOC211 Chapter 1 and 2

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University of Toronto Mississauga
David Brownfield

SOC211: Deviance and Control 25/11/2013 12:52:00 PM General definition: deviant behaviour is defined as the actions of persons considered being not right, just or proper. This general definition includes a broad spectrum of acts (and statuses): crime, poverty, mental illness, drug use, suicide, etc. “Crime” used as a synonym for deviant behaviour. Goffman notes in his book, (“stigma” refers to a mark of infamy or disgrace), the tendency for the scope of the subject of deviance to broaden, to include more statuses and behaviours.  Refers to certain characteristics of what is admirable based on appearance and education and high status which is known as the identity norm.  People who do not fall under the identity norm criteria are more subject to stigma, lower social status. Reading from Understanding Deviance Chapter 1: Confusion and Diversity  Radical sociology may speak of oppression and alienation caused by the institutions of capitalist society.  Deviance liberation and conformity collusion; it will point to endemic contradictions and crises that will culminate, perhaps, in a society rid of all deviance.  Ambiguity is a central feature of deviance.  Deviance is a residual category, a label of last resort; is political and is based on exercise of power.  The criminal justice system creates criminals because needs a client population.  The Luddites protested against the introduction of steam technology in the early 1800s.  There maybe a debate about whether a riot us „really‟ a political event or „mere‟ lawlessness. Description becomes even more difficult because their can sometimes be political consequences from the acts of deviants who are not overtly committed to a political stance. Sources of Diversity  Sociology has its own language, and techniques, but it has also fed on ideas that have originated in other fields.  Such interplay of projects and thought become more complicated as the minds of different sociologists work on the materials offered them.  Product differentiation has inevitably been accompanied by the making of proprietorial claims.  Then there is the impact of the academy that both spurs and limited the growth of intellectual variety.  The matter is yet further complicated by the very different traditions that are borne by the university departments and schools in which „deviantology‟ is studied and taught.  Such insulation can be further reinforced by the division of intellectual labour within universities. Chapter 2: Sources of Knowledge and Deviance The Elusive Quality of Deviance Basic unwritten agreement among sociologists this that deviance should be considered as banned or controlled behaviour that is likely to attract punishment or disapproval.  Sociologists working on visible and undisguised processes have problems enough. Their work becomes vastly complex when subjects and events are deliberately hidden.  Deviants rarely engage in collective efforts to interpret their own behaviour.  It is not at all remarkable that theories and theorists will tend to describe phenomena quite differently.  Sociology research is constrained by the very structure of its own field.  The c
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