Sociology | Deviant Behavior & Social Control
S320 | 3876 | Peck
S320 Deviant Behavior & Social Control (3 CR)
3876 2:30-3:45 TR BH003
SECTION OPEN TO UNDERGRADUATES ONLY
In every society there are certain traits and behaviors that
are considered inappropriate, indecent, disgusting or just
plain wrong. Such traits and behaviors can be considered
"deviant." Which traits and behaviors get classified as
deviant, however, varies over time and across cultures.
Understanding the issues surrounding deviance does not solely
tell us about the people who engage in deviant acts; it also
teaches us about the norms and organization of the "normal"
society in which such acts are judged.
This class will focus on the various things in society that are
considered deviant: what is considered deviant, why something
is considered deviant, how people react to things considered
deviant, how people become involved in things deviant, and how
things become considered deviant. We will explore different
definitions of deviance (both among the general public, as well
as among the research community), specific examples of deviance
(both historical and contemporary), societal reactions to
deviance (both interpersonal reactions and societal level
reactions such as norms and laws), as well as the processes by
which behaviors or groups become classified as deviant.
Specific topics will cover a wide variety of important issues
today including crime and punishment, drugs, sexuality, race,
The course will be interesting and useful for majors and
non-majors both. We will cover theories and topics that are at
the heart of sociology, and at the center of the world in which