Sociology of Deviance
Our common sense tells us that certain acts are "wrong"; that particular persons who engage in them are "deviant." But common sense suggests little about how and why a particular act or actor comes to be understood in this way. Using a wide range of readings from literature as well as sociology, this course explores the origins and significance of deviance within social life. The distinction between being different and being deviant is carried throughout the semester. Emphasis is also given to the increasing importance of psychotherapy in our response to the deviant. This course provides a substantial introduction to criminology, with consideration of the social characteristics of offenders and victims, crime rates, and various justifications of punishment. This course should be of interest to students within many majors who are concerned with theoretical, practical, and ethical questions concerning the concepts of good and evil as foundations of human society. This course fulfills the "culture and identity" requirement for the major. Prerequisite: 100- level sociology course or permission of instructor.