Sociology and Deviance

Sociology doesn’t really care about the individual. And it doesn’t really care about why someone chooses to join a polygamous cult, or do lots of drugs. People do all sorts of crazy things.

Sociology does care about how the system as a whole works.

Last weeks’ authors were approaching understanding deviance a number of different ways. Erickson says deviance is really about defining and maintaining a community. Act like us or you aren’t one of us.

The Heckerts are simply defining deviance as behaviors outside of the norm. They’re defining it statistically.

Becker says what’s deviant is simply what the right people say is. So the interesting question becomes who says what is deviant? Why? Why do they get to say so?

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