SOC 1126-01

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Sociology of Deviance

SOC 1126-01

Spring Semester 2013

Inver Hills Community College

Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota 55076

Credits: 3  Semester credits

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:  Noon to 12:50pm Fine Arts Room 194

Instructor: David A. Berger              E mail:

Office: 214 Activities Building, Inver Hills Community College

Phone: (651) 450-8545  (Voice mail available )

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 1pm to 3pm; Friday 1pm to 2pm and by appointment


TEXTS:   Social Deviance by Stuart Henry; Righteous Dopefiend by Philippe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schonberg; Readings in Deviant Behavior (6th Edition) by Alex Thio.



      There are TWO basic objectives of this class.  First, this course will introduce class members to the  Sociology of Deviance.  We will learn about sociological theories explaining deviance, its pertinence to the construction of social order as well as identity, and the application of these theories to the problems of crime, drug use, mental illness, and creativity.

  Second, in order to understand how personalities interact to create social groups and societies, we must also promote empowerment of the students by encouraging the development of democratic behaviors and values. To this end, we will share some of the powers that are traditionally reserved for the instructor.  We shall create a quai-representative democracy complete with executive (the teacher) and legislative (the students) components.  The four standing committees are Humor Conference, Writing, Testing, and Participation. This syllabus was created jointly by the students and the instructor the first day of class.


Nine sub goals that support the two class objectives:


This course, in concert with the rest of your college education, should help you to develop the ability to…


Think critically                                       Have respect for others                       Be dependable

Solve complex problems                        Act in a principled manner                  Be able to adapt to change

Read, write, and speak effectively          Engage in life-long learning                Live in a community           


1) While the syllabus forms the foundation of our course, changes in ANYTHING are possible during the semester (except NO EXTRA CREDIT).  Any class member may initiate a change during the semester.  To get an issue on the ballot, a member must go to the appropriate committee with a written proposal (use the petition form at the end of this syllabus).  If the majority of the committee approves the change, the class as a whole will vote on it.  If a majority of class members then vote in favor of the change, it will take effect.  Proposals can involve class location, breaks, test formats, etc.  This is your chance to have input into your education.  The instructor has the same rights as a class member.  This means that he must go through the same committee process if he wishes to change something in this syllabus.  An issue that dies in committee can only be revived by a 2/3rds majority class vote.  A petition form is be attached to this syllabus.

2) If a class decision CLEARLY violates school policy or the integrity of the learning environment, the instructor will modify or veto the change.  In such an event, a full explanation will be given to the membership.

3) Votes involving the entire class membership will occur only after a period of discussion (speakers pro/con).  Class members SHOULD, at any time, challenge or contribute to class discussions and/or lectures.  To give everyone a fair chance to present their opinions, we need to give polite consideration to each speaker.

Democracy must be learned in our everyday life if we are expected to participate fully in a democratic republic.

While freedom of speech will be our foundation, speech that violates another’s rights will not be tolerated (no harassment, hate speech, or racism is acceptable).

4) The four committees will meet whenever there is a petition that they must entertain or when a majority of committee members call for a meeting or when Dave asks them to meet to consider a proposal.  Some committees may never meet again, while some committees may meet more than a few times


Week of                                     TOPICS                                         READING ASSIGNMENT

January 14, 2013                 Touchie-feely:  First Day Rituals                   Henry Chapter 1

                                                What is Deviance?                                         Thio articles #1 and #2

                                               CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION TO CREATE THIS SYLLABUS

                                             What is Sociology and the Sociology of Deviance?                                          

January 21, 2013                  What is Deviance?  Explaining Deviance.    Review Week #1 Reading Above

                Introduction to Sociological Theory: 4 Main Theories in Sociology:  Structural Functional Theory;     

                                                            Conflict Theory; Symbolic Interaction; and Social Exchange Theory

                                      Theories of Deviance

                                        -Structural Strain (Functional Theory)      -Conflict Theory

                                        - Phenomenological Theory                         -Labeling Theory

                                        -Differential Association                              -Control Theory

                                        -Feminist Theory                                          -Shaming Theory

January 28, 2013                Structural Strain (Functional Theory)               Thio Article #3

                                                  Robert K. Merton:  Modes of Adaption

January 30, 2013                Conflict Theory (Including Marxist Theory)      Thio Article #9

                                                  Richard Quinney   (Capitalists and Proletarians)

                                            Feminist Theory:  Kathleen Daly                         Thio Article #10     

February 1, 2013                Differential Association Theory                            Thio Article #4

                                                 Edwin H. Sutherland & Donald R. Cressey

February 1, 2013         QUIZ #1….Last 25 minutes of Class (50 Points)  Covers Above Material

February 4, 2013                Control Theory by Travis Hirschi                         Thio Article #5

                                            Shaming Theory by John Braithwaite                  Thio Article #6

February 6-8, 2013                 Labeling Theory by Howard S. Becker             Thio Article #7

                                             Phenomenological Theory by Jack Katz              Thio Article #8  

February 11-15, 2013            Research Methods and Deviant Behavior       Righteous Dopefiend pp. 1-46

                                                      -Survey Research; In-Depth Interviews;Experiments; Ethnography;

                                                     -Content Analysis; Archival; Secondary Analysis; Evaluation Research.

February 18, 2013                President’s Day Holiday     NO CLASS                                                  

February 20, 2013                  Elite Deviance: Scope and Nature                  Thio Article #41

                                                      -Subcultural Differences                             Thio Article #42

                                                     -The Ruling Class: Business Deviance: The Case of Enron

                                                    -Other white collar crime

February 22, 2013                   Teachers Training Day NO CLASS


February 25, 2013                  Ethnographic Study:                                 Righteous Dopefiend pp. 47-117

                                                      Homelessness and Drug Addiction:

                                                           An Introduction

February 25    QUIZ #2….Last 25 minutes of Class (50 Points)  Covers Material from Feb 4 to Feb 20


February 27, 2013                  Ethnographic Study: The Moral Economy Righteous Dopefiend pp. 118-183


March 1, 2013                 Applying the Theories to Righteous Dopefiends  Righteous Dopefiend pp. 184-240


March 4, 2013                   Summing Up Righteous Dopefiends                Righteous Dopefiend pp. 241-321


March 6, 2013                EXAM #1:  In Class (100 points)                  Covers Material Up to this point


March 8, 2013                  Life in Prison: Fact, Fiction, and Overlap            Reading to be assigned  

                                                           -Myths,   -Vocabulary, Basic Patterns;  Stillwater MCF Vs. Shakopee MCF


March 8, 2013               Written Assignment #1:  Righteous Dopefiend   DUE  150 Points


March 9- March 17, 2013    SPRING BREAK     NO CLASSES


March 18, 2013                 SOCIAL CONTROL: An Introduction               Henry Chapter 2  

                                            The Need for a Balance:  Too Much/Not Enough   Thio Article #47 & #14


March 20, 2013                 Social Control (Continued)                                       Henry Chapter 3                 

                                              -Those That Control Deviance (Careers)             Thio Article #36 & #48


March 22, 2013                 Social Control (Concluded)                                       Henry Chapters 6 & 7

                                                -Controlling Religious Extremists: Abortion Clinic Bombings


March 25, 2013              Sexual Deviance: Stalking and Child Abuse             Thio Articles #16 & #18  


March 27, 2013              Sexual Deviance: Sex Tourism and Prostitution       Thio Articles #27, #28, #29


March 29, 2013             Sexual Deviance: Internet Patterns                             Thio Articles #35 & #37


April 1- April 5, 2013        Con Artist Subcultures                                             Henry Chapter 4

                                                                                                                               Thio Article #39


April 8, 2013                   Wrap Up Con Artist Subcultures


April 8   QUIZ #3….Last 25 minutes of Class (50 Points)  Covers Material from March 8 to April 8


April 10, 2013                Political Deviance: General Scandals                        Thio Article #41

                                          (e.g. Fast and Furious)


April 12, 2013                Political Deviance: Sexual Scandals and affairs       Reading to be Announced

                                         (e.g. David Petraeus, Eric Massa, Herman Cain, Bill Clinton, Mark Souder, Tom  

                                                Ganley, Mark Foley, Tim Mahoney, John Edwards, Allison Meyers,  Larry Craig)


April 15- 17, 2012          School Shootings; Mass Murder; Serial Murder    Thio Articles #11, #12, #13    


April 19, 2013             Teacher Training Day:   NO CLASSES             


April 22, 2013             Cross Cultural Deviance: Iraq, Rural Areas,                Thio Articles #11, #25, #40

                                     and Occupational


April 24-26, 2013         Mental Disorders: Defining Mental Illness                  Thio articles #20, #21, #22

                                               -Self Injurers and Hyperactivity


April 29, 2013                Wrap up Mental Illness 


April 29   QUIZ #3….Last 25 minutes of Class (50 Points)  Covers Material from April 10 to April 29


May 1-3, 2013              Gang Related Youth Deviance: Drug Dealing               Thio Article #34 & #50


May 6, 2013                  War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity                Reading to Be Announced  

                                         The Case of Drone Attacks and Remote Terrorism


May 6, 2013               Written Assignment #2: Creative Writing DUE    (150 Points)


May 8, 2013                EXAM #2:  In Class (100 points)                  Covers Material from March 8 to May 8


  * Schedule subject to change by topics committee action and class vote.


WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS: (300 Points total or 30 percent of the grade)

     There will be 2 papers for this course each worth 150 points or 300 points total.  Below is a list of papers with due dates and Topics.    


Assignment #          DUE:                Points                 TOPIC:

     1                  March 8, 2013        150  points            Righteous Dopefiend book

     2                  May 6, 2013           150 points             Creative Writing


Policy on late papers: There will be a grace period until 5pm on the date the papers are due.  Unexcused late papers will lose 10 points each day up to one week (papers not accepted after a week).   The late penalty will be waived if special arrangements are made with Dave due to an emergency situation..    Policy on Plagiarism/cheating: First offense leads to loss of all points on that paper.  Second offense leads to removal from class on the recommendation to the Dean of Students.  These assignments will be graded on completeness, clarity, and understanding.  Please type these assignments.  No papers due on test days. Grammar, spelling, etc. are important but I will not deduct points for such things.  I am much more interested in you demonstrating your creativity and understanding of sociological concepts.   No minimum or maximum length is needed.  Use whatever paper format you desire.  Just fully and clearly answer the questions from the assignment sheet. The assignment sheets will be given out in class approximately one month before the paper is due.  If  there is an emergency please contact me.


EXAMINATIONS: (400 Points total or 40 Percent of the Grade)

     There will be TWO EXAMS (100 points each) and FOUR QUIZZES (50 points each) for a total of 400 points for testing.   All exams and quizzes are a combination of multile choice and short essay.  Most of the short essay will come from articles in the Thio reader.  Policy on Plagiarism: Lose all points on that exam or quiz. Policy on missed exams: Making up exams can be done within one week if you contact Dave before the test and the reason in acceptable (unless emergency).  Unexcused make up exams lose 20 points each day.  For every quiz and exam each student will be allowed to individually create a cheat sheet for use during the testing (8 & ˝ by 11, both sides, no photocopies).  These cheat sheets must be unique and individually created with no photocopying (including the books). Finally, students can file challenge forms after the exam to attempt to  show that their answer was equally valid.  Exams will not be on the same day that papers are due. Sectional tests. 

#                 DATE                                        Points                   Type of Exam                                      

Quiz #1           February 1, 2013                 50 points             In-class with cheat sheet

Quiz #2           February 25, 2013               50 points             In-class with cheat sheet

Exam #1         March 6, 2013                    100 points             In-class with cheat sheet

Quiz #3          April 8, 2013                         50 points            In-class with cheat sheet

Quiz #4          April 29, 2013                       50 points            In-class with cheat sheet

Exam #2         May 8, 2013                        100 points            In-class with cheat sheet



CLASS PARTICIPATION: (300 Points total or 30 percent of the grade)

     This is not a lecture course!!!!!  Discussion, role plays, small group activities, music and video clips are included in this class to get you to practically apply the concepts that you learn.  This is a "hands on" course.   Do Not take this course if you wish a lecture course.  You will get very involved with speaking, listening, and doing.  There will be note taking at times (since a minimal amount of lecturing is necessary).  The Participation Committee has determined that participartion consists of attendance (100 points), small groups (100 Points), and class discussions (100 points).  Three absences will be excused.  For each class thereafter 5 points will be deducted. After three missed classes (one week) students need to contact the instructor. Self evaluation of Small roup/Class Discussiob will occur at the end of the semester as a double check that everyone gets the appropriate score. School policy: if a student misses two consecutive weeks without an acceptable excuse, they can be dropped from the course (See student hand book…that would be two days during summer).  See Dave if you have an emergency situation.



     Grades are based on what you earn from your 2 exams; 4 quizzes (400 points or 40 percent),  2 papers (150 points each or 30 percent), Humorand participation (300 points or 30 percent).  A maximum of 100 percent (1,000 points) is possible.  I will not be using a curve to assign grades;  they will be determined in this way:

                      Grade                   %                     POINTS

                          A                     90                     900 to 1,000

                          B                     80                     800 to 899

                          C                     70                     700 to 799

                          D                     60                     600 to 699

                          F                     59 or Below      599 or below






I petition that the following proposal be placed on a ballot before our entire class membership:



























Turn this form into the appropriate committee as soon as possible.  Given time limitations, votes may have to be postponed until the next class period. 


Committee Action:   Forward to class____   Defeat_____


HELPFUL HINT:  Make your proposal as specific as possible and include some sort of rationale.  More of your class members will vote for something if they understand why it is needed.  Feel free to lobby your position before and after class and during breaks.