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Contexts of Deviance

Statuses, Institutions, and Interactions

J. William Spencer

Publication Date - 12 September 2014

ISBN: 9780199973576

528 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

This innovative anthology shows students how to understand deviance and social control within the context of central sociological concerns


While most readers focus more on deviance than sociology, Contexts of Deviance: Statuses, Institutions, and Interactions brings sociology front and center by examining deviance and social control in their social contexts. This fresh and innovative anthology shows students how deviance and control can be studied at different levels of analysis and from a range of theoretical approaches using different methodologies. The collection is divided into six parts: theory, social control, statuses and identities, institutions, subcultures, and social movements. The readings range from classic to contemporary pieces, from macro-level studies to studies of face-to-face encounters. Contexts of Deviance also represents a wide range of theoretical traditions--from functionalist and critical to post-modern and interactionist. Introductions in each section help students to understand what it means to study deviance and control in a social context, to appreciate research questions at different levels of analysis, and to recognize how a positivist orientation is different from a subjectivist orientation.

An instructor's manual and test bank prepared by Thomas N. Ratliff (Arkansas State University), Jessica Middleton (University of California at Irvine), and Ashley Swan (Arkansas State University) are available for qualified instructors.

About the Author(s)

J. William Spencer is Associate Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. He is the author of The Paradox of Youth Violence (2011).


"Contexts of Deviance is essential for instructors who seek to tie major sociological concepts to the themes and topics of deviance our students often readily recognize, but do not always connect to the fundamentals of our field. The approach is fantastic."--Thomas N. Ratliff, Arkansas State University

"I like the approach of this reader. The strong, upfront presentation of sociology is wonderful-this is a refreshing difference from other readers on the market. The introduction will help non-majors become familiar with the sociological perspective. I also appreciate that it emphasizes different levels of analysis."--Bev Carlsen-Landy, Texas Woman's University

"This anthology is refreshingly different, comprehensive, and engaging. I like the way the author relates theoretical information to practical, concrete, everyday examples. I believe the writing style will engage students and keep their attention. It is rare to find an author who can communicate in such a clear, precise fashion without using jargon or talking down to the audience. I am extremely impressed."--Lori E. Azzara, Massasoit Community College

Table of Contents

    General Introduction

    PART I: Theories of Deviance

    1. Anomic Suicide, Emile Durkheim
    2. Feminist Theory and Prostitution Policy, Annette Jolin

    3. The Social Organization of Deviants, Joel Best and David Luckenbill
    4. Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, Michael White and Karen Terry

    5. A Control Theory of Delinquency, Travis Hirschi
    6. Primary and Secondary Deviance, Edwin Lemert

    7. Epilepsy, Stigma Potential, and Information Control, Joseph Schneider and Peter Conrad
    8. Account, Marvin Scott and Stanford Lyman

    PART II: Social Control

    9. Ironies of Social Control, Gary Marx
    10. Women Athletes as Falsely Accused Deviants, Elaine Blinde and Diane Taub
    11. Student Resistance to School Surveillance, Jen Weiss

    PART III: Statuses and Identities


    12. Constructing an Identity Worthy of Leniency, M.J. Gathings and Kylie Parrotta
    13. Constructions of Anorexia and Obesity in Women's Magazines, Kally Whitehead and Tim Kurz
    14. Adolescent Masculinity, Homophobia, and Violence, Michael Kimmel and Matthew Mahler

    15. Target Recruitment of Nazi Skinheads, Randy Blazak
    16. The Segregating Impact of Hate Crime Against Native Americans, Barbara Perry
    17. Beliefs about Suicide in the African-American Community, Kevin Early and Ronald Akers

    18. Social Stratification and Psychiatric Disorders, August Hollingshead and Frederick Redlich
    19. Common Norms of the U.S. Middle Class, Alex Heckert and Druann Heckert
    20. Making the Rules and Breaking the Rules, Robert Tillman

    21. Homosexuality and Remedicalization, Peter Conrad and Alison Angell
    22. Rhetorically Constructing the Dignity of Sexually Marginalized Catholics, Donileen Loseke and James Cavendish
    23. Bisexuals at Midlife, Martin Weinberg, Colin Williams, and Douglas Pryor

    PART IV: Institutions

    24. High Risk Behaviors among Victims of Sibling Violence, Deanna Button and Roberta Gealt
    25. Normative Resistance and Inventive Pragmatism in Transgender Families, Carla Pfeffer
    26. Adjustment of the Family to Alcoholism, Joan Jackson

    27. Medicine as an Institution of Social Control, Peter Conrad and Joseph Schneider
    28. Court Ordered Insanity, James Holstein
    29. An Abortion Clinic Ethnography, Donald Ball

    30. The Effect of Country Music on Suicide, Steven Stack and Jim Gundlach
    31. Neutralizing Music Piracy, Jason Ingram and Sameer Hinduja
    32. Negotiating the Boundaries of Mental Illness on Law & Order, Rachel Gans-Boriskin and Claire Wardle

    33. The Production of Dropouts, Christine Bowditch
    34. School Shootings, the Media, and Public Fear: Ingredients for a Moral Panic, Ronald Burns and Charles Crawford
    35. Fraternities and Rape on Campus, Patricia Martin and Robert Hummer

    PART V: Subcultures

    36. Deaf Clubs and the British Deaf Community, Martin Atherton
    37. Club Drug Use and Risk Management, Brian Kelly
    38. Qualitative Analysis of Street Youth Suicide, Sean Kidd

    PART VI: Social Movements

    39. Political Activism among the Physical Disabled and Former Mental Patients, Renee Anspach
    40. Transgressive Protests and the Limits of Negotiated Management, Patrick Gillham and John Noakes
    41. COYOTE and the Reorganization of Prostitution as a Social Problem, Valerie Jenness

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