SOC 366 • Deviance
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
This is a course on the sociology of deviance. Although our primary focus will be on the United States, we will at certain points consider the broader international context. In some cases we can not understand contemporary patterns of deviance without viewing them within a global frame of reference.
First, we will examine traditional theories of deviance. We shall not only build on some of these as we move through the course but suggest new perspectives regarding patterns of deviance that have emerged in late modernity.
Second, although we will devote attention to traditional topics in the sociology of deviance (e.g. drugs, sex, and metnal illness) we frame these in a somewhat new light.. How have some of these forms of deviance changed over time? And why? And we will remind ourselves how some of these traditional forms of deviance have been internationalized.
Third, we will devote special attention to white-collar deviance. It is important that we not only look at patterns with respect to disadvantaged members of the social order but also examine patterns of deviance with respect to economically and socially privileged members of US society. Why have white-collar deviants become so visible in both the public and the private sectors? What is the impact of this form of deviance on our lives?
Fourth, we will consider several special topics. For instance, how is deviance punished in modern society? Indeed, what is the nature of punishment? What are the implications of of contemporary views of punishment for the social order as a whole? Also, what is the relationship of terrorism (especially suicide bombing) to the sociology of deviance? Etc.
There will be three examinations. The third examination is given on the last day of class and will count about 25 percent of the final grade. A marked improvement in your scores over the semester will also be factored into the final grade. The three examinations will contain short-answer questions based on the readings and the lectures. (The first examination will be given at about the 6th or 7th week mark. The formal date for each exam will be announced two weeks in advance.)
If you miss an examination, you will be able to take a makeup. However, makeup exams are typically more difficult than the regular examination.