The purpose of this assignment is to have you examine the sociology of deviance and demonstrate your knowledge of the topic. For this assignment, you will apply the three sociological perspectives of functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interaction to the study of deviant behavior. Minor theories such as strain theory, labeling theory, control theory, differential association, and feminist theory will also be considered. Students will examine deviance within a cultural and historical context as well as engage in microlevel and macrolevel analysis of deviant behavior.
- Reflecting on the videos and interactive exercises, identify a deviant behavior defined by society or the dominant culture as socially unacceptable (e.g., crime, abuse, abortion, pornography, incest, suicide).
- Discuss the deviant behavior in cultural and historical context: What cross-cultural or historical variations exist?
- Explain the deviant behavior using the sociological perspectives: functionalism, conflict perspective, symbolic-interactionism. What other minor theories (e.g., strain theory, labeling theory, control theory, differential association, feminist theory) can be applied? (LO1)
- On the macro-level, address the deviant behavior by examining how it is shaped by economic, racial/ethnic, or gender inequalities due to stratification based on institutional arrangements. Which sociological perspective or minor theory could be used? What social control mechanisms exist at the societal level through social institutions? (LO4, LO5)
- On the micro-level, provide an example in which you were sanctioned for deviant behavior. Which sociological perspective or minor theory could you use to explain your experience? What type of norm was violated? What type of sanction was administered? What social control mechanisms exist through face-to-face interactions?
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