Criminal Justice-COLL | Deviant Images / Deviant Acts
P305 | 10555 | Kane
This course examines the popular fascination with deviance using a
cross-cultural perspective. We start with Howard Beckerís Outsiders,
the foundational text of deviance theory. We will master the basic
sociological concepts central to understanding the diverse ways that
people define, theorize, label and enact nonconformity and justify
social control. Then we will read two ethnographies that will compel
us to stretch Beckerís mid-20th century deviance theory to confront
contemporary problems. First, we will read Kaneís ethnography about
the intersection of AIDS with drug- and sex-related behaviors near
the start of the global pandemic. Here, the risk of viral infection
links up with deviance in the social imagination, with dramatic
consequences in criminal law and public health (e.g., criminal cases
where people are charged with intentionally transmitting HIV). Then
we will travel along with Carolyn Nordstrom as we read her
adventures in Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States. Through
her interviews and stories, she unwinds the clandestine systems,
networks and actions that are both legal and illegal, necessary and
outlawed, along the routes of transnational trade. As we build and
question our knowledge, we analyze the important debates in criminal
justice and cultural politics in a global frame. We focus particular
attention on the gap between the symbolic power of deviant images
and the often mundane realities of deviant acts.
Becker, Howard. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of
Deviance. New York: Free Press.
Kane, Stephanie. 1998. AIDS Alibis: Sex, Drugs, and Crime in the
Americas. Temple University Press.
Nordstrom, Carolyn. 2007. Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in
the Contemporary World. University of California Press.
Distribution Credit: S&H
Class Meeting: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00-2:15
Instructor: Professor Stephanie Kane, criminal justice department