Lemert Social Pathology

Lemert, Edwin. Social Pathology (1951)

Book number two in the "where it all began" sequence (#1 is Tannenbaum's Crime and the Community (1938)). Lemert begins with a little bit of history of the idea of "social problems" and the approaches of the early experts (cultural lag, folk/urban, Cooley, etc.). Then he lays out his approach.

Two starting points:

  1. abandon the idea that human beings can be divided into normal and pathological
  2. sociopathic phenomena == differentiated behavior which at at given time and place is socially disapproved.

Interesting first few chapters. Social process of differentiation. After presenting the theory the book contains several chapters on individual kinds of deviant behavior (blindness, speech defects, prostitution, etc.).