Degrees of Deviance: Student Accounts of Their Deviant Behavior
The original idea for this book was to describe the deviant activities of present-day students. One of the main problems when teaching sociology is that concepts are often seen as textbook issues that have little to do with real life. In many courses on deviance students are asked to read research literature so they may understand other people's rule-breaking behavior. But the deviant behavior that they read about has little similarity in content to the deviant behavior that they do. Published studies of deviant behavior are typically based on research conducted ten to twenty years earlier. This research is typically on people of a different age and class from the students, and is conducted by people who are as old as their parents. Because of this, conventional texts on deviance may fail to connect the deviance of others to the students' own real-life experiences. This book bridges the gap between student experiences and the wider phenomenon of deviant behavior. It aims to prepare students for the concepts that they will subsequently encounter in deviancy text-books. It invites students to explore how deviance is socially constructed by grounding their reading in contemporary accounts of fellow students' behavior. It is a book about student involvement in various degrees of deviant behavior, written in their own words. The accounts are based on the students' own experiences and on those of their friends and relatives. Student descriptions of rule-breaking behavior, as it is currently practiced, include married students having affairs, fraternity drinking parties, cocaine dealing, self-mutilation, nudism, vegetarianism and various explosives and weapons activities. These deviant activities take place in a variety of contexts, such as during work in bars, restaurants and stores, but also in dormitories, fraternities, gyms, and in other ! settings, both public and private, and both on and off campus. Each account addresses the meaning of the deviant activity to the students. It describes the students' motives; the excuses and justifications they use to rationalize and explain their behavior; the reactions of other students, parents, and authorities; and the problems that students face when they are caught or when they have to manage the stigma of a deviant identity. These accounts were generated as part of the students' research for my course on deviant behavior. The students taking this course were trained in the methods of participant observation and interview, and were asked to submit a proposed topic of deviance that they had previously, or were currently, engaged in. The interviewees were to be restricted to three members of an intimate social network: friends, relatives or fellow workers.
Specifications of Degrees of Deviance: Student Accounts of Their Deviant Behavior
|Author||Roger Eaton, Stuart Henry|
|Publisher||Sheffield Pub Co|
|Number Of Pages||172|
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