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READING NOTES for Lecture 3: Deviance and Moral Panics Article. SOC313H1 Professor Frederick

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Deviance and Moral PanicsMoral Panic A condition episode person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interestsThe media perpetuates this beliefThe morals behind it are championed by those with social influencesocial experts produce diagnoses and solutionscoping mechanisms are evolved or resorted tothe condition disappears and becomes more visible Example of a moral panic is the emergence of deviant or delinquent youth culture in Britain o Youth cultures have been associated with violence The Teddy Boys the Mods and Rockers o Above groups are identified not by specific events or particular disapproval over behaviour but as a distinguishable social typeo Society has called these groups the folk devils visible reminders of what we should NOT beo The rise and fall of the Mods and Rockers contains all of the elements from which one might generalize about folk devils and moral panics o The 60s time period where the Mods and Rockers rose and fell witnessed rapid change in folk devils from The Mod to the skinheadBeckers moral enterprise the creation of a new fragment of the moral constitution of societyDone through a symbolic crusade mounted by interest groups through the use of moral panicsMajor contribution to the study of social typing process comes from interactionist or transactional approach to deviance focus on how society labels rulebreakers as belonging to certain deviant groups and how once the person is typecast his acts are interpreted in terms of the status that he has been assignedThe Transactional Approach to DevianceThe sociological study of deviance has turned from a canonical saw the concepts it worked with as authoritative standard accepted given unquestionable view to a skeptical viewSkeptical in the sense that when it sees terms like deviant it asks deviant to whom or deviant from whatDeviance is neither an intrinsic quality of an act nor a quality possessed by the actorBeckers quote Social groups create deviance by making the rules whose infraction constitutes deviance and by applying those rules to particular persons and labeling them outsidersWe should not take for granted the labeling by society or the powerful groups in society of certain behaviour as deviant
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