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Social Construction of Deviance

by: Kaiyana Dudley

Social Construction of Deviance SOC 465

Marketplace > University of Michigan > Sociology, Criminal Justice > SOC 465 > Social Construction of Deviance
Kaiyana Dudley

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About this Document

Basic framework of deviance
PJ McGann
Class Notes
deviance, sociology, social




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaiyana Dudley on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 465 at University of Michigan taught by PJ McGann in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Deviance in Sociology, Criminal Justice at University of Michigan.


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Date Created: 09/17/16
I. Wha ​ t is de​ nce?  A. Basic definition: social rule­breaking  1. Doesn't necessarily cause harm, nor is it always considered a sin or crime  2. Deviant actions aren't necessarily done less just because they're seen as  deviant  B. The two paradigms of deviance  1. Positivist​ or Absolutist or Objectivist  a) Deviance is an inherent quality  2. Interactionist​ or Constructionist or Sociological  a) Deviance as subjectively problematic  b) Deviance is an attributed quality rather than inherent  C. Deviance as socially constructed  1. A product of human endeavor  2. Social relativity  a) Historical  b) Cultural  c) Intra­social (in terms of power)  D. Paradox of deviance  1. Deviance is universal but relative  II. ABC's of Deviance  A. Actions  1. Intentional or unintentional  B. Beliefs  1. Religious, scientific, folk/popular knowledge, political  C. Conditions  1. Ascribed (born into)  2. Achieved (acquired)  III. Sociology of Deviance  A. Deviance is subjectively problematic  1. Deviance is a term of relationship, not a moral judgment  a) Think about who's constructing/assigning deviance  B. Interactionist Approach  1. Deviance is a consequence of rules in which violations constitute outsiders  2. Deviance (norm breaking) vs. Conformity (norm adherence)  a) Enforcement is necessary  C. Norms: social rules (2 types)  1. Informal  a) Maybe written, but not formally  b) No clear sanctions/punishments  c) No clear agents  d) Not necessarily linked to an official institution  2. Formal  a) Officially written and published  b) Can be legitimately acted against (enforced)  c) Clear agents (like police)  d) Linked to official institutions (like the law)  IV. Social Control  A. Social control is anything done to enforce norms, increase conformity, or decrease  deviance  1. Informal  a) Relational controls (like through peers)  b) Self­control  2. Formal  a) Done through formal agents (3 main institutes)  (1) Religion  (2) Law  (3) Medicine  3. Agents  Agency: capacity for action  a) Who/what does normative enforcement  B. The power to define deviant outsiders  1. Designation of authority allows powerful characters to define what is  deviant/not normal  V. Critical Interactionism  A. Not inherent, but attributed through roles of power  B. Critical power  1. Norm enforcers have the power to label deviants  a) Power allows you to construct deviance  b) Deviance is an effect and application of power  C. Moral entrepreneurs  1. The creation and enforcement of deviance  a) Individuals/groups who attempt to define deviance for others  b) New markets of deviance  2. Types/motivations  a) Crusaders (or reformers) impose their beliefs  b) Humanitarians want to prevent harm   


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