Applicable to those in criminal justice, sociology, or human services careers, yet accessible to the general interest reader, this short book covers all the key areas of deviance and basic criminology. Exceptionally clear, it conveys some of the interesting and unusual things to be found in all the basic areas of deviance in a straightforward, meaningful way. The beginning of the book covers the history and evolution of deviance, while the rest details the specific facets of personal and social deviance. For criminal justice, sociology, or human services professionals, including police and probation officers, social workers, nurses, human resources officers.
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Henry Vandenburgh received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1996. Previously, he was a licensed psychiatric technician, chemical dependency counselor, and psychiatric hospital middle manager specializing in admissions and marketing. A medical sociologist, as well as a student of deviance, he is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He is also the author of Feeding Frenzy: Organizational Deviance in the Texas Psychiatric Hospital Industry.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
As an undergraduate, I was partly drawn to sociology by studies of deviant behavior. Some of the best and most interesting academic writing I saw was in the qualitative studies of deviance I read during those years. This writing had an immediacy and truth to it that not even history, known for its interesting studies, seemed to offer. In spite of the occasional bizarre nature of the material, deviance studies were oddly reassuring. They seemed to tell the truth about the construction of unusual nooks and crannies in the social order—and they went into detail. Not even history with its grand sweep could offer this.
In addition, deviance studies, and deviance theories for that matter, seemed to bring life and humanity to the issues that psychiatry and psychology also dealt with. From a deviance perspective, you could get a sense of what was in it for people to be deviant, how they put their worlds together to defend their status and self-esteem in their own minds, and how they protected themselves from the public. I was hooked on studying deviance, in short. Small wonder, then, that years later I wrote my dissertation on business deviance by psychiatric hospitals.
Later, however, as a teacher of deviance, I noted that the students had changed since my undergraduate days in the late 1970s. Unlike the social critics and countercultural travelers we oftentimes were, today's students are usually more job-oriented. They're frequently destined for careers as police and probation officers, social workers, nurses, human resources officers, and any of a number of other middle-level professions. Many if not most are already working in their chosen fields, or in a preparatory position for entry into those fields. Also, chances are that some of these students would not have attended college 30 or 40 years ago, instead going immediately into technical or on-the-job training after high school.
This development explains the reason for Deviance: The Essentials. It's intended as a reduced-form text, very accessible to today's students, which, at the same time, conveys some of the interesting and unusual things to be found in deviance studies. As such, it attempts to convey much of the key information that might also be found in a large-form deviance text, but in a way that economizes on reading. Since this is in no way a reader, I hope that instructors adopting this text will also adopt a book of readings as its companion.
In orientation, this book tries to achieve a compromise between a pure sociology approach (in which official definitions of deviance are generally problematized) and one that is likely to be more useful for today's students, many of whom are destined for human services careers. Accordingly, "official" definitions of mental disorders are taken more seriously than they might be in more critical texts, as are those for crime. Psychiatric medications and illegal drugs are explored in greater detail, because, based on my own predoctoral experience as a human services worker, this information is eminently useful across the spectrum of social and public services, and is rarely taught.
Each chapter consists of text, one vignette illustrating a form of deviance, and one or more tables or figures. A reasonable plan might be to cover one chapter a week, with one or two readings from a companion reader for illustration. This book is chiefly intended for undergraduate students of deviance in sociology and criminal justice, although it can easily be incorporated into other curricula. Interdisciplinary in nature, it can also be utilized in psychology and anthropology courses, since it illustrates psychological and biological theories as well as the sociological theories more traditional in deviance courses. It's easy to read, and can be used by all levels of college students.
PLAN OF THE BOOK
This book is organized in three sections. Part I, Foundations of Deviance, contains six chapters discussing the various theories and methods for explaining and studying deviance. Chapter 1, The Nature of Deviance, discusses the definitions of deviance and presents methods for studying it, including participant-observation, survey research, secondary data analysis, and content analysis. Chapter 2, Deviance in Premodern Society, delineates the nature of deviance and deviants in primitive societies, ancient societies, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Chapter 3, Classical or Deterrence Theory, discusses the role of rationality in encouraging and discouraging deviance and crime. Chapter 4, The Age of Positivism, covers the use of objective science in studying deviance (including some important mistakes made by early science). Chapter 5, Modern Sociological Theories of Deviance, Part 1, explores macrosocial theories and their role in explaining deviance. Chapter 6, Modern Sociological Theories of Deviance, Part 2, discusses more critical and microlevel theories.
Part II, Personal Deviance, explores specific types of deviance at the microlevel. Chapter 7, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, discusses addiction and presents a model that can be used to analyze all forms of addictive behavior, including those not involving addictive substances. Chapter 8, Mental Illness, examines mental problems and the individuals and institutions that attempt to deal with them. Chapter 9, Sexual Deviance, notes the different types of sexual behavior in which humans engage.
Part III, Social Deviance, explores deviance on a broader level than the merely personal. For this reason, it includes material on crime, as well as simple deviance. Chapter 10, Organizational and Vocational Deviance and Crime, discusses the ways in which organizations and individuals commit crimes and practice deviant behavior in the context of work life. Chapter 11, Cults, Charisma, and Terrorism, details the ways in which cults provide deviant and sometimes dangerous lifestyles for their members. Chapter 12, Domestic, School, and Workplace Violence and Abuse, examines ways in which bullying and violence occur in these important but often overlooked contexts. Chapter 13, Cyberdeviance, discusses ways that deviant or criminal activities take place through computers or the Internet. Chapter 14, Crimes Against Persons and Property, examines crimes as offenses against both fellow humans and their possessions. Finally, Chapter 15, The Future of Deviance Studies, discusses where we go from here in the context of social science's attention to deviance and in the context of public policy.
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