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Social Deviance, 2nd Edition



Social Deviance, 2nd Edition

Stuart Henry, Lindsay M. Howard (With)

ISBN: 978-1-509-52354-2 December 2018 Polity 208 Pages

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The new edition of this popular introduction explores the meaning of social deviance in contemporary society. It traces the path by which we create deviance: how we single out behavior, ideas, and appearances that differ from the “norm,” label them as either offensive or acceptable, and then condemn or celebrate them. The book explains what kinds of behavior are banned and who bans them, exposing the important political influences underlying these processes. Refreshed with a new engaging, accessible style, the second edition features expanded treatment of the theories of deviance, new material on positive deviance, and updated references and contemporary examples throughout.

At its core, Social Deviance looks at who becomes deviant and why. It delves into the multiple motives that cause rule-breakers to behave badly in the eyes of those they offend or creatively in the eyes of those they please, and it reveals the way deviants think about their actions, their moral identity, and their fellow moral outcasts.


1 What is deviance?

2 Why people ban behavior

3 What causes people to deviate? Theories of deviant behavior

4 Why people break rules: From extreme deviance to positive deviance

5 Neutralizing morality and deviant motivations

6 Failed socialization and weak social control

7 How people become deviants: Labeling deviant actors

8 Responding to deviant designations and coping with stigma

9 Becoming normal: The politics of stigma

Conclusion: What can the study of social deviance do for you?

- Completely rewritten to increase the acccessibilty and suitability for students, with more careful description and illustration of key concepts.
- Addition of further reading sections for teaching purposes.
- Thoroughly updated with new examples, literature, and ideas in the sociology of deviance.
- Whole new chapter on theories of deviance.
- More material on positive deviance.
“Stuart Henry has done a remarkable job of introducing the student to what is perhaps the most intriguing subject in the undergraduate curriculum. Pick up this book and read it. It is a brisk, engaging, and informative account of normative violations and their aftermath. Our students will enjoy and learn from it.”
Erich Goode, State University of New York at Stony Brook

“This second edition arrives at a propitious time, when our social fabric is being questioned on moral, ethical, and political grounds like never before. It does a superb job of contextualizing deviance among contemporary issues, allowing students to embrace the key concepts in the field, to understand the complexity of the issues, and to apply these ideas to their everyday lives. Well written and jargon free, with excellent examples to get its point across, it stands unmatched in its enunciation of the complexities of deviant behavior in a straightforward manner.”
Peter Adler, University of Denver (Emeritus)