Writing in the Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Marshall Clinard and Robert Meier note that while people are generally confident in their understanding of what constitutes deviance, the fact is that 'no consensus reliably identifies behavior, people, or conditions that are deviant,' particularly in relation to emotive issues such as drug use, homosexuality etc.
Deviance does not exist in a vacuum, it shifts in response to historical, cultural, political and societal expectations. As a result, work on the nature of deviance takes many forms. Although common areas of interest do exist. Namely:
"The deviant is one to whom the label has successfully been applied: deviant behavior is behavior that people so label." (Howard S. Becker)
Topics typically explored within the academic study of deviance include:
Crime and Criminalization
Child and Elder Abuse
Race and Ethnicity
Structural and institutional violence
It is the Deviants Among us Who Hold Society Together
Insightful Animation about social deviance and social control from Dalton Conley's book, You May Ask Yourself: An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist.
Offered by The California University of Pennsylvania via 100% asynchronous online delivery to meet the needs of busy students and professionals, The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology: Deviance concentration prepares students to become effective professionals in diverse and challenging fields, including:
The deviance concentration also prepares students with the interdisciplinary theoretical training and research and writing skills required for graduate programs in specialized social sciences such as psychology, counseling, education, social work, geriatrics or law. CLICK HERE for full details.