The Relativity of Deviance / Edition 4

The Relativity of Deviance / Edition 4

by John O. Curra
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SAGE Publications


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The Relativity of Deviance / Edition 4

This engaging and informative book, by award-winning sociologist and criminologist John Curra, offers a valuable perspective on attitudes and behaviors labeled as deviant. The Relativity of Deviance, Fourth Edition, explores the meanings and constructions of social deviance and social reactions to it, he answers such questions as:

  • What is deviance?
  • What comprises deviant behavior?
  • How are deviants treated?
  • How is deviance socially constructed and socially sustained?
  • Why is the same attitude, behavior, or condition praised in one situation and condemned in another?

Through insightful and thought-provoking examples and informed accounts, the author illustrates that deviance cannot be explained or understood in terms of absolutes or essential characteristics nor can it be explained or understood apart from its social setting. This book approaches sex, violence, theft, drugs, suicide, rape, and mental disorders in a way that shows the critical role of sociocultural factors and social reactions in constructions of deviance and crime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781483377346
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 02/24/2016
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 408
Sales rank: 997,876
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Curra (PhD, Purdue University) is a professor at Eastern Kentucky University where he has taught courses in introductory sociology, social deviance, criminology, sociological analysis, social problems, social psychology, juvenile delinquency, and criminological theory since 1975. He has taught. In 1981, he received the prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In 2005–2007, he was selected as a Foundation Professor, one of the highest honors a professor can receive at Eastern Kentucky University. In 2012, Curra moved to the Department of Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies. That same year, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the Department of Criminal Justice in the College of Justice and Safety. Curra has authored or co-authored several texts, an instructor’s manual, and a reader.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Dynamic Nature of Deviance
Kids, Crocodiles, and Social Control
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?
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
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
Privilege, Power, and Penalties
Chapter 4: Mental Disorders
Medicalization on 34th Street
The Medicalization Process
Manufacturing Madness
The Myth of Mental Illness
Mental Health Buccaneers and Social Control
Sense and Nonsense in the Psychiatric Enterprise
Meltdown in the DSM
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
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
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
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
Chapter 9: Drugs and Drug Taking
The Social Reality of Drug Use
Getting Stoned in the Animal Kingdom
Addiction: Imprecise Definitions and Arbitrary Meanings
The Social Dynamics of Human Drug-Taking Experiences
Moral Entrepreneurs and Drug Crusades
About the Author

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