a banner reading "introduction to the sociology of deviance and social control". on the left half of the banner, there is an image of a dictionary posting for "deviance". surrounding the text on the left side of the banner are several icons depicting deviance and social control, including a nude woman, the anarchy symbol, a stick figure with a bandana flinging a slingshot, police, people stoning someone, and someone kicking another person who appears to protest.

A Brief Introduction to the Sociological Study of Deviance and Social Control

This mini lecture, originally composed for the asynchronous Fall 2020 sociology course, “Deviance and Social Control” at the University of Georgia, provides a brief overview of the sociological perspectives on deviance and social control.

This feature includes a template for an in-class activity and discussion. The activity works best in an instructional or group setting. You can view the activity separately from the mini lecture HERE.

Lecture Activity:

What behaviors do you consider deviant?

Expected duration for step 3, “After the lecture”

20 Minutes

Before the lecture – Write down 5 behaviors you would consider deviant
During the lecture – Think about the behaviors you listed; what kind of deviance are these, and why would you consider them deviant?
After the lecture (For Instructors/Classroom Settings) –
1) Everyone take a few minutes to rank the behaviors you listed
from least deviant (1) to most deviant (5)
2) Have each student report their “most” deviant behavior,
note the behaviors, giving 5 points for each mention of the behavior
3) Ask if anyone listed the behaviors but ranked them 1-4. Give additional
points to the behaviors for each listing, selecting the number of points
corresponding to the ranking for each additional mention.
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remaining listed deviant behaviors starting
with ranking 4, then 3, 2, and 1, until each student has reported all 5
of their listed deviant behaviors.
5) Calculate the total points for each behavior.
6) Rank the full list of behaviors from most deviant (highest points) to least
deviant (lowest points).
7) Class Discussion –
– What kind of deviance are these behaviors?
– Why are these behaviors considered deviant?
– Are these behaviors considered more deviant in certain contexts? Why?
– How are these behaviors sanctioned (punished, corrected)?
– Do you agree with this rank-ordering of deviant behaviors?
– What changes would you make?
– Are there any highly deviant behaviors that are missing from the list?



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