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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2006

AMS 370 • Deviance in America: An Alternate History-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29985 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
mez b0.302

Course Description

Deviance is a concept that differs from society to society and from time to time. What is normal in Islamic fundamentalism with regard to female dress, the use of alcohol, and the ability to change religions is completely alien to western cultures. Indeed. The French educational system has banned headscarves calling them deviant attire. The characteristics and traits that today place a woman on the fast track in business would get her executed as a witch in 17th century New England. Indeed, to be a white person believing in racial equality anywhere in Texas a short fifty years ago would make one a deviant.

Historians have sometimes referred to history as a parade of winners and losers. Those individuals who are able to form a majority or even acquire political, social, or religious power are able to impose their perspective upon others. Yet, this hegemony does not usually become permanent. Thus, this course will seek to do two things. It will note the alternatives to mainstream Americas over time and note how things could have been different. And, secondly, it will note how change has occurred, often incrementally, over time. Some of the areas for study may include 17th century witchcraft, religious cults, juvenile delinquency, crime, homosexuality, alcohol and drug abuse, prostitution, student political and cultural radicalism, racial radicalism, and even an occasional idiosyncratic personal revolt.


Required reading will include a packet and five or six of the following books: Carol Karlsen The Devil in the Shape of a Woman Edward Andrews The People Called Shakers Kathy Peis Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York Clifford Shaw The Jack-Roller: A Delinquent Boy's Own Story Jack Black You Cant Win Claude Brown Manchild in the Promised Land Eduardo Pagan Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon Doug Rossinow The Politics of Authenticity Katherine Neuman Rampage: Social Roots of School Shootings


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