Sociology | Deviant Behavior and Social Control
S320 | 3674 | Todd Paddock
In Deviant Behavior and Social Control, we will explore what is (or
was) considered deviant-behaviors or traits that are inappropriate,
offensive, or deplorable. We will study why people define certain
behaviors or traits as deviant. We will also study how people react
to deviance and why, focusing in particular on social
control-criticizing or punishing deviance. We also look at how people
come to take part in deviance. In doing the above, we will explore
such topics as drug use, race, sexuality, religion, mental illness,
sexual assault and abuse, violent and other crime, and more.
I want you to learn skills, not just material. Thus I expect my
overall goals for the course to be as follows:
-I want you to learn how to think like a sociologist. That means
being able to understand how an individual life is affected and
organized by society, and vice versa.
-I also want you to improve your ability to think critically, your
analytical skills. That means improving your ability to:
-Read an article, chapter, or book and separate what is important from
what is not;
-Listen in class and take notes on the important elements;
-Create and support an argument, drawing relevant evidence from a
variety of sources.
-Evaluate the arguments of others and decide which is best supported
by the evidence.
-Finally, I want you to leave the course with an appreciation for what
is left unanswered about deviance and social control, and the ability
to desire to continue exploring the topic on your own.
To be frank, this is not an easy course. I have high expectations,
and I expect you to work hard. If you are interested in the topic but
not interested in working hard, this is not the course for you. At
the same time, will be learning a lot about a very important and just
plain interesting topic. And we will have guest speakers and videos
as well as many discussions and some lecture.