SC 300

Get the syllabus here.

Get the final assignment here.

Get the course slides at the bottom of the page, underneath the schedule!

Semester Schedule 


Week 1 (8/27-8/29): What does it mean to be deviant?


“Defining Deviance,” (p 11)

“On the Sociology of Deviance” by Kai T. Erickson (p. 17) “Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die,” by Patton Oswaltt, here.

 Questions to think about this week: How are you “deviant?” How are you “normal?” How do you know?

Notes: In general, you should try to have readings done for the week in which they’re listed. Being the first week, that’s impossible right now, and I understand you have to get going on week 2’s readings. Just do the best you can with this week’s stuff; we’ll go over it in class.

Week 2 (9/3-9/5): The Big Perspectives: Functionalist, Conflict, & Feminist 


“Social Power: Conflict Theory of Crime,” by Richard Quinney (p. 51)

“Functionalism: The Normal and the Pathological,” by Emile Durkheim (p. 73)

“Feminist Theory,” by Meda Chesney-Lind (p. 98)

“Gender, Race, and Urban Policing,” by Rod Brunson & Jody Miller (p. 189)

Selection from Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity, by Ann Arnett Ferguson, here

Questions to think about this week: Where deviance is concerned, are you a functionalist, a conflict theorist? A feminist theorist?

 Important dates: No class Monday 9/3 – Happy Labor Day!

The last day of drop/add is Sept. 5th at 5 pm!

Week 3 (9/10-9/12): More Big Theories: Labeling & Anomie


“Relativism: Labeling Theory,” by Howard Becker (p. 41)

“The Morality of Deviance,” by Anne Hendershott (p. 46)

“Social Structure of Anomie,” by Robert Merton (p. 78)

“The Mark of a Criminal Record,” by Devah Pager (p. 211)

“Deciding to Commit a Burglary,” by Richard Wright and Scott Decker (p. 526)

“Becoming a Marihuana User,” by Howard Becker, here.

Questions to think about this week: The “marihuana” article is Becker’s classic discussion of how one becomes a pot smoker. How does it help develop the idea of labeling?

Week 4 (9/17-9/19): Rounding out Theory: Control, Learning, & Constructionist Theories


“Differential Association,” by Edward Sutherland and Donald Cressey (p. 85)

“Control Theory,” by Travis Hirschi (p. 89)

“The Constructionist Stance,” by Joel Best (p. 105)

“Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Case Study of Disease Mongering and Activist Resistance,” by Leonore Tiefer, here

Questions to think about this week: While reading the Tiefer article, think about the theories we’ve been covering. Which theories do you think do a good job of explaining the situation with female sexual dysfunction? Which do less well at explaining, and why? Which theory/ies does Tiefer seem to be using as a lens?

Notes: Have you started doing Facebook responses yet? Remember, you need to complete 8!

Week 5 (9/24-9/26): Interpersonal Violence


Child Abuse Reporting,” by Besharov & Laumann-Billings (p. 115)

“Convicted Rapists’ Vocabulary of Motive,” by Scully & Marolla (p. 291)

“Cyber Communities of Self-Injury,” by Adler & Adler (p. 401)

“Sexual Assault on Campus,” by Armstrong, Hamilton, & Sweeney, (p. 494)

“The Sexy Black Eye and Its Ugly Relatives,” by Wade, here.

Also, spend some time looking at the “Project Unbreakable” tumblr, here.

Questions to think about this week: How do societal institutions both encourage and discourage violence? In what ways?

Week 6 (10/1–10/3): Violence, continued: Mass Murder


“Primordial Evil: Sense and Dynamic in Cold-Blooded, ‘Senseless’ Murder,” by Katz, here.

“Are Men More Violent?” by Pandit, here.

“Why Oak Creek Isn’t Being Treated as a Tragedy for All Americans,” by Singh, here.

“How Can We Prevent Mass Killings Like Aurora?”by Arrillaga, here.

“Two Sikh Americans: Let’s Retire ‘Mistaken Identity,’” by Valarie Kaur and Simran Jeet Singh, here.

Questions to think about this week: Think about news reporting of mass murder tragedies. Is there a pattern to their coverage? What do you think of that pattern?




Week 7 (10/8-10/10): Drinking, Drugging, and Smoking


“Researching Dealers & Smugglers,” by Adler (p. 132)

“The Social Construction of Drug Scares,” by Reinarman (p. 159).

“Blowing Smoke: Status Politics and the Smoking Ban,” by Tuggle & Holmes (p. 171)

“Drug Use and Disordered Eating Among College Women,” by Sirles (p. 389)

“Cooks are Like Gods: Hierarchies in Methamphetamine-Producing Groups,” by Jenkit (p. 409)

“Shifts and Oscillations in Upper-Level Drug Traffickers’ Careers,” by Adler & Adler (p. 562)

Questions to think about this week: What is the relationship between status and the perceived deviance of these types of behaviors?


Week 8 (10/15-10/17): Sexual Deviance


“Survey of Sexual Behavior of Americans,” by Laumann et al (p. 122)

“Homophobia and Women’s Sport,” by Blinde & Taub (p. 200)

“Becoming Bisexual,” by Weinberg et al (p. 268)

“Autoerotic Sexual Asphyxia,” by Turvey (p. 463)

“Gay Male Christian Couples and Sexual Exclusivity,” by Yip (p. 536)

“Pimp-Controlled Prostitution,” by Williamson & Cluse-Tolar, (p. 550)

Questions to think about this week: What contributes to changes in perceptions of sexual deviance? Which institutions, thought leaders, or communities play a role?

Important Dates: If you haven’t yet, you have to start responding for this week (10/14 @ 5 pm)!

Week 9 (10/22-10/24): Race, Class, & Gender as Deviance


“An Integrated Typology of Deviance Applied to Ten Middle-Class Norms,” by Heckert & Heckert (p. 25)

“The Saints & The Roughnecks,” by Chambliss (p. 223)

“Gender & Victimization Among Women in Gangs,” by Miller (p. 419)

“Trading Sex for Crack: Gender and Power,” by Draus & Carlson (p. 475)

“Dude, You’re a Fag” by CJ Pascoe

 Questions to think about this week: How does the social constructed aspects of race, class, and gender affect what it means to be deviant in these regards? Is there a way to structure one’s identity of these factors without falling victim to stereotype?

Week 10 (10/29-10/31): Mental Illness


“Obstacles to Exiting Emotional Disorder Identities,” by Howard (p. 575).

“Geneticization of Deviant Behavior and Consequences for Stigma: The Case of Mental Illness,” by Phelan, here..

“Medical Model of Madness: The Emergence of Mental Illness,” from From Badness to Sickness, by Conrad  This file was corrupted and I wasn’t able to get it rescanned in time, so I’ll be sure to just cover it in class.

Questions to think about this week: How is mental illness both a real, as-lived condition and a social construction? Depending upon which side we stress, who benefits, and at whose expense?


Week 11 (11/5-11/7): Bodily Deviance


“The Adoption and Management of a ‘Fat’ Identity,” by Degher & Hughes (p. 257)

“Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia,” by McLorg & Taub, (p. 279)

“Men who Cheer,” by Benmiller, (p. 317)

Selection from “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” by Bauby here!

Questions to think about this week: What types of bodily deviance are seen as negative? Positive? What does the characterization depend upon?


Week 12 (11/12-11/14): Organizations and White Collar Crime


“Doctors’ Autonomy and Power,” by Liederback (p. 237)

“Negotiating White Power Activist Stigma,” by Simi and Futrel, (p. 331)

“International Organized Crime,” by Godson & Olson (p. 433)

“War Profiteering: Iraq and Halliburton,” by Rothe (p. 446)

“Show Me the Money: Cyber Shrews and Online Money Masochists,” by Durkin (p. 485)

“Opportunity Structures for White Collar Crime,” by Engdahl (p. 512)

Questions to think about this week: Think about large-scale corporate crimes like Enron and the recent sub-prime mortgage crisis. Why would these people, who seemingly had it all, risk it?





Week 13 (11/19-11/21): “Positive” Deviance?


“Child Malnutrition in Vietnam,” from The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems, by Pascale, Sternin, and Sternin, here.

 Questions to think about this week: What is positive deviance? What is the best way to use this concept in social life?

 Important dates: No class Wednesday, November 21st (University closes at noon)


Week 14 (11/26-11/28): Resistance – **NOTE CHANGE IN READING**


“Failure to Launch: Why Do Some Social Issues Fail to Detonate Moral Panic?” by Jenkins (p. 181)

“Fitting in and Fighting Back: Homeless Kids’ Stigma Management Strategies by Roschelle & Kaufman (p. 345).

“Collective Stigma Management and Shame: Avowal, Management, and Contestation,” by Martin (p. 361).

“Girl Soldiers in Uganda: Reintegrating Outcasts,” from The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems, by Pascale, Sternin, and Sternin, here  

Questions to think about this week: What do you think is the importance of resisting the deviant label? Is it more important for some forms of deviance than others?


Week 15 (12/3-12/5): Making Change **NOTE CHANGE IN READING**


Hospital Infections: Acting into a New Way of Thinking,” from The Power of Positive Deviance: How Unlikely Innovators Solve the World’s Toughest Problems, by Pascale, Sternin, and Sternin, here

Excerpt from Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin

Questions to think about this week: So what’s really the difference between “thinking outside the box” and “being deviant?” Is it a meaningful practical distinction? Social distinction?


Week 16 (12/10): We Are All Weird **NOTE CHANGE IN READING**


Selection from We are All Weird, by Godin, here

Excerpt from Hallucinations, by Oliver Sacks

Questions to think about this week: How does a change in our view of deviance change social life?


Week 1: What is Deviance?

Week 2 – Functionalism, Conflict, and Feminist Theories

Week 3 – Anomie & Labeling

Week 4 – Control, Learning, Constructionist Theories; Sexuality and Doing Nothing

Week 5 – Interpersonal Violence

Week 6 – Mass Murder

Week 7 – Drinking, Drugging, and Smoking

Week 8 – Sexual Deviance

Week 9 – Race Class Gender

Week 10 –  Mental Illness

Week 11 – Mental Illness II and Bodily Deviance

Week 12 – Bodily Deviance

Week 13 – Organizational Deviance

Week 14 – Positive Deviance

Tom’s presentation on Singles and Stigma

Rodney’s presentation on Bullying

Elaine’s presentation on the Legal Drinking Age

Heidi’s presentation on Women Athletes

Vinnie’s presentation on Texting and Driving

Julie’s presentation on Mental illness

Janel’s presentation on Domestic Violence

Darren’s presentation on Gambling

Ashley’s presentation on Bullying within the Gay Community

Wende’s presentation on the Justice System in Wisconsin

Sarah’s presentation on Resistance of Disability Within Society


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