SOC 330. Social Deviance

“Outsiders” by virtue of age, physical status, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, or social and occupational roles — elderly, disabled, poor, women, nonwhites,
police officers. Role engulfment, anomie, and alienation.

Social Deviance deals with the fringe (but not only the fringe) of any society; the “other” or the “outsiders.” One can be labeled a deviant for who one is or is not, or for what one does or does not do. What is considered deviant is related to what a society has constructed as their norms. This course will challenge you to think about deviance as less of a fixed attribute, or specific set of behaviors, and moreas a construction of society. We will explore social deviance by examining how deviance is defined, and how what behaviors, bodies and individuals are considered deviant is a social construction that varies by time and location. We will discuss theories of deviance, and how the media treats deviant behaviors and people. Throughout the course, we will stress the diversity of experiences with deviance, looking at dimensions of race/ethnicity, sex, gender, age, class, and sexuality.


Thio, Alex, Thomas C. Calhoun and Addrain Conyers. 2010. Readings in Deviant​ Behavior—Sixth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.