Lecture Ideas

Crime, Deviance, and Social Control

Collins: "Crime is Normal"
Erikson: "Notes on the Sociology of Deviance"
Becker: from Outsiders
Costello, Barbara J. Cultural relativism and the study of deviance. Sociological Spectrum. 26, (6), 581-594. DOI:10.1080/02732170600948824
Coser, Lewis. 1982. "The Notion of Control in Sociological Theory," in Gibbs, Jack P. Social Control: Views from the Social Sciences.

Classical Roots

Norms and Etiquette in Everyday Life

Sociologies of Deviance

  1. Bio-individual etiological theories of yesterday and today (Lombroso, Sheldon, DNA, etc.)
  2. Internalization, socialization, etc.
  3. Labels, stigma, stereotype, career, secondary, self-fulfilling prophecy
  4. Moral entrepreneurs, crusades, moral panic, rumor, urban legend (Gusfield, Becker, Best)
  5. Relational and structural

Social Construction of Deviance

  1. Crusaders etc. (Here instead of above?)

Evidence from Primatology and the Like

Altruism and Social Control: Evidence from Genetics and Brain Research

Itunes/napster Jobs/music industry Merton's legitimate goals/illegitimate means.
Ten Definitions of "Social Control"
Groups, Identity, and Boundaries
From Village to City: The Standard Sociological Narrative and Social Control
Every Rule is Somebody's Rule
Second Party Control
Social Control of the Self
Durkheim on suicide
Black on social control of self

What Deters Whom From What?
Nudge — Taking Advantage of Human Nature to Promote Pro-Social Behavior
Two Approaches to Punishment: The Three Century Debate
Worrying About Surveillance: Paranoia or Common-Sense
The Plague Mentality in the Age of Terrorism and Swine Flu
Architecture, Design and Control
The Tools of Social Control: Institutions and MetaNorms
Too Big to Fail, Diplomatic Immunity, Golden Child
What are norms and how do they work?
Norms as Solution to Coordination Problems
Public Goods and Social Control: Of Litterbugs and Noise
Organizations Matter
How to Control an Organization: Regulation and Ethics
Conflict Resolution: From Dorm Rooms to International Relations
Social Control as Dependent Variable
Types and Styles of Social Control
Labels, Secondary Deviance
Excuses, Explanations, Accounts, Neutralization
Ostracism, etc.
Social Control Out of Control: Total Stuff
Why is Knowledge Power?
14. Once a week is the wrong way to go with this course.15. Build the whole course around Ellickson – drop other readings.16. Field work/research was best part of course.17. I'd prefer a more traditional deviance course.18. This course turned me on to sociology.19. Powerpoint slides were a good feature of the course.20. Exams would be better than papers.

Humans spend a lot of time and energy trying to understand and "tame" nature. We want to understand neutrons and neurons, bacteria, ecosystems, and tectonic plates so we can either control them, repair them when they break or minimize the threat they pose to our safety. Nature can be hard to figure out, but both before and after we discover a "law of nature" it gets followed all the time.

Humans are a whole other ballgame. The outcome of almost every step we take depends on other people acting in a predictable, acceptable, or normal manner. From the other driver at an intersection to the journalists who tell us about the world around us to the people who run the financial system to the institutions that guide international relations, we depend highly on people NOT exercising a fundamental human capacity: arbitrariness and caprice. And 99.99% of the time, they don't. Conformity, it could be argued, is the single most common form of human behavior. It's so common that we don't notice it most of the time and our attention is totally consumed with the rare occurrences of non-conformity. We build legal systems to deal with some of it, but the really interesting thing is that we manage to sustain most of the conformity without recourse to things like the law.

Want to learn a bit about how human societies pull this off? Take SOC112, SOCIAL CONTROL, this fall.