use the term deviant to refer to any
behavior, belief, interest, activity, physical characteristic, or group
affiliation used as a reason to mark people as wrong: immoral, criminal, psychopathic, subhuman.
Deviance in itself is not necessarily immoral, illegal, or harmful:
people are marked, put into the "deviance box," for things that are
trivial (bad table manners), harmless (wearing earrings), unjust (being Jewish),
condemned by only a small minority (being a single parent), or practiced by
almost everyone (drinking alcoholic beverages).
Conversely, people often get away with things that are immoral
(sabotaging another student's lab experiment), illegal (premarital sex in some
states), and harmful (eating high cholesterol foods) without being put into the
"deviance box." It is a matter of what someone with authority
(religious leaders, scientists, professors, our parents, the mass media) decides
Allyn, Make Love, Not War: The
Sexual Revolution: An Unfettered History (Routledge, 2000).
Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant (Penguin Classics, 1997).
Ellison, Invisible Man (Vintage Books, 1995).
D. Palmer, Cultures of Darkness (Monthly Review Press, 2000).
J. Rodriguez, Always Running:
La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. (Simon & Schuster, 1994).
reports must be typed, doubled spaced, with pages stapled and numbered.
Complete sentences, an academic writing style, and a minimum of
grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors are required.
There is no required length, but less than 5 pages is not
recommended. 50% of final grade. Link
to Writing Guide
a period of 3 days, break a folkway in front of different groups of
family, friends, and strangers. Do
not engage in any act which is immoral or illegal. Suggestions:
ordering dessert first at a restaurant, bringing your own food to a
restaurant, treating casual acquaintances like intimates (or vica
versa), wearing inappropriate clothing, initiating conversations
with strangers, sitting next to strangers when there are other seats
available, standing backwards in an elevator. Discuss your reactions
and bystandersí attempts at social control. Discuss how they might have reacted to breaking a mos or a
one week, participate in a minority religious group that you are not
ordinarily part of. Suggestions: any world religion (Islam,
Buddhism, Hinduism), Latter-day Saints, Christian Scientists,
Jehovahís Witnesses, Pentecostals.
Attend church services and religious instruction; follow any
rules that you are comfortable with; read books and magazines;
access web pages. Discuss strategies of differentiation and stigma
one week, participate in a sexual minority subculture that you are
not ordinarily part of. Suggestions: gay, lesbian, transvestite,
leather, fetish. Visit
bars, restaurants, retail establishments, social organizations,
churches, private homes; read books and magazines; access web pages.
Discuss how easy or difficult it was to locate resources;
strategies of differentiation and stigma management.
two college students who refrain from using alcohol, tobacco, and
other drugs. Have they used these drugs in the past, or have they always
been abstinent? Discuss
the social and political factors that led to their abstinence,
social controls that they face, and types of deviance that they
20 college students regarding their attitudes toward specific types
of deviant behavior. Use
only anonymous questionnaires.
3 episodes of a single television program that aired in the
1950ís, 1960ís, or 1970ís. They frequently appear on
Nickelodeon, TV Land, TBS, and elsewhere, and many are available in
video stores. Suggestions: I
Love Lucy, Bewitched, The Jeffersons, Gilliganís Island, The Brady
Bunch, Threeís Company. Discuss
how normative social structures were enforced, and deviance
punished, in the context of the historical period.