LSCJ 3173 – Deviance and Social Control
Social deviance sounds like the name of a punk band fresh off the scene from 1970s England. It’s fitting, because punk rock departed from the optimistic tune of pop culture. It was underground—a subculture that often affronted mainstream sensibilities. It was offensive to the societally conforming general public, because it represented politically charged rebellion. Like punk rock, the concept of social deviance is the antithesis of social norms. Very simply put, it is a violation of social and political correctness, and it occurs in all societies. In Deviance and Social Control, students learn about the social construction of deviance from a sociological perspective.
The understanding of deviant behavior is not unlike the understanding of any other human behavior. Many times, however, deviant behavior is defined by influential political, social and economic groups who have successfully imposed their views onto others. During the course, current research on selected types of deviance are reviewed to help students understand the individual and structural dimension of behavior. These issues have a clear impact on law enforcement and the creation of public policy, so the course emphasizes implications for governance and social control as well.
Upon successful completion of this course, students are able to identify, describe and recognize socially deviant behavior by providing examples and identifying characteristics of different types. They are able to discuss why these behaviors are considered deviant by understanding and learning about subcultures. More importantly, however, they leave the class able to analyze emerging deviance issues and contribute to society as a whole.
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