The Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma

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9780398078560: The Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma

Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma is dedicated to a sociological analysis of deviance, a term reframed to imply differences. Deviance is approached from the outset as meaning differences: differences in attitudes, behaviors, lifestyles, and values of people. The terms 'deviance' or 'deviant behavior' are understood as labels themselves and are used sparingly, such as in the title and in Chapter 14, 'Elite and Power Deviance' ('deviance' appears with frequency in the theory chapters since it is a term used by the theorists addressed). Part of the title of the text is 'Tradition' meaning traditional topics are covered such as suicide, mental disorders and physical disabilities, addictions and substance abuse and use, criminal behaviors, and sexual behaviors and differences. The book has one chapter devoted to criminal behaviors, with emphasis placed on violent and property offenses. The term 'stigma' appears in the title for two reasons: it is to honor the contributions of Erving Goffman to the study of differences, and it is used to accentuate the importance of societal reaction to attitudes, behaviors, lifestyles, and values that are varied and different in a heterogeneous society. Nowhere is this more evident than in Chapter 12, 'Societal Reaction and Stigmatization: Mental Disorders and Physical Disabilities.' The Sociology of Deviance: Differences, Tradition, and Stigma includes case studies or examples relevant to every chapter, and 'In Recognition' where individuals who have made contributions to related subject matter are honored. A major part of the book includes analyses and empirical assessments of the theories discussed in Chapters 4 through 8. In this respect, the book offers one of the most comprehensive and in depth discussions of the theories and their empirical viability. An intent of this book is not to duplicate other texts in deviance, and to show variety in the manner in which different substantive topics are covered. For example, attention is given to historical developments when discussing mental disorders and physical disabilities, and Chapter 11 has coverage of gambling as a form of addiction, an area generally not addressed in other texts on deviant behavior.

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Published by Charles C Thomas Pub Ltd (2009)
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