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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 218
Course Title: Social Deviance
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Introduction to theories and models of deviant behavior. Reinforcement of the sociological perspective on human behavior. Social control and the construction of categories of deviance. Analysis of social conditions which impacts rates of deviance including violence, sexual deviance, mental illness, substance abuse, street crime and white collar crime. Societal responses to deviance. The uses of stigma to label deviants.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):


Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Most current editions of the following:

Deviance Today
By Thio, Alex C., Calhoun, Thomas C., and Conyers, Addrain (Pearson)
Category/Comments - Core text
Readings in Deviant Behavior
By Thio, Alex and Thomas C. Calhoun (Allyn and Bacon)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Sociology of Deviant Behavior
By Clinard, Marshall B. and Robert F. Meier (Thomson)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Deviant Behavior
By Goode, Erich (Pearson)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Social Deviance: Readings in Theory and Research
By Pontelle, Henry and Rosoff, Stephen M. (McGraw-Hill)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Constructions of Deviance
By Adler, Patricia A. and Peter Adler (Thomson)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Elite Deviance
By Simon, David R. (Pearson)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Social Construction of Sexuality
By Seidman, Steven (W. W. Norton)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Extreme Deviance
By Bader, Chrisotpher D., Blee, Kathleen M., Gimlin, Debra, Kelley-Romano, Stephanie, Goode, Erich, Nieli, Russell K., Metzger, Tom, de Young, Mary, and Roselle, Mike (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Course Objectives
  • To articulate the sociological perspective on deviance as a concept.
  • To articulate the role of theory in the sociology of deviance.
  • To think critically about the role of social power in defining categories of deviance.
  • To analyze the manner in which society responds to deviant behavior.
  • To understand the nature and sources of deviant behavior.
Measurable Learning
  • Explain the concepts of deviance and social control.
  • Evaluate the merits of various theories of deviance.
  • Describe the role of authority in defining deviance.
  • Explain the historical context of the creation of institutions of social control.
  • Articulate the methods used in research on social deviance
  • Articulate how categories of deviance change over time.
Topical Outline:
  • Defining deviance
  • Positivist theories of deviance
  • Constructionist theories of deviance.
  • Feminist and postmodern theories of deviance.
  • The invention of "normal" sexuality.
  • Gender role violations, intersexuality.
  • "Deviant" Sexuality.
  • Body modification.
  • Interpersonal violence.
  • Suicide.
  • Mental disorders.
  • The war on drugs.
  • Elite deviance.
  • Underprivileged deviance.
  • Victims of stigma.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: August 25, 2014
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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