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The Relativity of Deviance
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The Relativity of Deviance

Fifth Edition

Other Titles in:
Sociology of Deviance

October 2019 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Relativity of Deviance is a primer on the constructivist perpsective on deviance--the idea that deviance cannot be explained in terms of absolutes, nor can it be understood apart from its social setting. The book is frequently used alongside all of the major core deviance textbooks on the market. It answers such questions as: What is deviant? What is deviant behavior? How should the deviant be treated? Why is the same act sometimes praised and sometimes condemned? Readers will see that what qualifies as deviance varies from place to place, time to time, and situation to situation. The book explores some of the most frequent contexts for deviant behavior in ways that challenge definitive or objective judgments. 

The Sixth Edition has been updated to include the most current developments in American society, including deviance at the highest levels of national politics and corporate life, sex abuse scandals, the opioid crisis, and the growing decriminalization of marijuana.
 
Preface
 
Chapter 1 The Dynamic Nature of Deviance
Being Left in a Right World

 
Relationships and Rule Breaking

 
Sociological Relativity

 
The Social Construction of Reality

 
Theoretical Views: The Old and the Not-So-Old

 
Relativity and Social Deviance

 
Whose Side Are We On?

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 2 Being Deviant
The Original Blue Man (and Woman) Group

 
Being and Doing

 
Deviance and Responsibility

 
The Social Construction of Spoiled Identities

 
Managing Stigma

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 3 Power, Social Networks, and Organizational Deviance
Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

 
The Carrier’s Case: Other People’s Belongings and the Crime of Theft

 
White-Collar Crime and Elite Deviance

 
The Relativity of Terrorism

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 4 Mental Disorders
Medicalization on 34th Street

 
The Medicalization Process

 
Manufacturing Madness

 
Mental Health Buccaneers and Social Control

 
Sense and Nonsense in the Psychiatric Enterprise

 
Meltdown in the DSM

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 5 Predatory Violence
The Social Construction of Murder and Violence

 
Arbitrary Meanings

 
Patterned Violence

 
Vocabularies of Motive and Interpersonal Accounts

 
The Curious Case of Jack the Ripper

 
Variable Violence: When Killing is Not Murder?

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 6 Sexual Violence
Defining Rape

 
The Symbolic Organization of Sexual Violence

 
Rape and Social Conflict

 
Rape Scenes

 
Normalizing Sexual Violence

 
The Rape of Males

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 7 Suicide
Social Frames and Definitions of the Situation

 
The Meanings of Suicide

 
The Curious Case of Autoerotic Asphyxiation

 
Sociocultural Variations in Suicide: Motive, Intent, and Interpretation

 
Suicide, Stigma, and Responsibility

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 8 Sexual Diversity
Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

 
Sexuality: A Sociocultural Understanding

 
The Curious Case of the Berdache

 
Sexual Differentiation and Sexual Asymmetry

 
The Myth of the Universal Turn-On

 
Sexual Politics and the Transformation of Intimacy

 
Deviantizing Sexual Matters

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Chapter 9 Drugs and Drug Taking
The Social Reality of Drug Use

 
Getting Stoned in the Animal Kingdom

 
Imprecise Definitions and Arbitrary Meanings

 
The Social Dynamics of Human Drug-Taking Experiences

 
Moral Entrepreneurs and Drug Crusades

 
Conclusions

 
References

 
 
Index
 
About the Author

"Easy read and explanation of topics."

"The text is well written and explains various behaviors in detail with examples for experiential learning opportunities"

Tim Powers
Brevard College

"It covered all of the major topics, but it did so in a unique way with unique and thought-provoking examples that appeal to my students."

"It has complete coverage, it is an interesting read, it approaches certain topics with a unique perspective (e.g., the medicalization of mental illness), it is reasonably priced.."

Laura Colmenero-Chilberg
Black Hills State University

"The primary reason is because deviance is presented in terms of a social constructionist perspective. Most textbooks look at deviance from a functionalist or positivistic perspective. The examples used in the text are outstanding in terms of presenting the relative nature of deviance."

"Besides the fact that it doesn't have ancillary materials (which might scare some instructors away), it challenges students to think critically about the subject matter."

Linda Scola
Bethune-Cookman University

"I adopted The Relativity of Deviance because of the relativistic perspective it provides, because of the interesting examples and topics covered, because it's well-written and because it provides great opportunities and jump-off points for class discussion."

"If you teach this course, you should teach it from multiple perspectives and this book offers a nicely packaged way to present the relativistic perspective of deviance."

Kenneth E. Jackson
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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