Syg Attached is textbook, reference from there. 1. What was the U.S. trend in the rate of murders from the 1990s until the Covid-19 pandemic? 2. What i

Syg Attached is textbook, reference from there.

1. What was the U.S. trend in the rate of murders from the 1990s until the Covid-19 pandemic?

2. What i

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Attached is textbook, reference from there.

1.  What was the U.S. trend in the rate of murders from the 1990s until the Covid-19 pandemic?

2.  What is the most common category of murder in the U.S.? How does it pertain to female victims and to male victims?

3.  What racial group is most at risk for being murdered in the U.S.? What gender is most at risk for being murdered?

4.  What is the worldwide pattern of societal definitions of murder and responses to murder, past and present (that is, how uniform or diverse have they been)?

5.  What is “social capital”? What is its predicted relationship to murder rate, as well as to crime rate in general?

6.  How does the murder rate in the U.S. compare to that of other wealthy nations?

7.  Who assaults most female rape victims? Where do such assaults tend to take place?

8.  What is the worldwide pattern of societal definitions of rape and responses to rape, past and present (that is, how uniform or diverse have they been)?

9.  Describe the perspective of “rape-prone cultures” and “rape-free cultures.”

10.  What is the long-term relationship of changing racial and gender relationships to rape?

11.  Describe “rape proclivity” theory and “routine activity” theory?

12.  Who tends to be punished when sex work is defined as immoral and/or illegal?

13.  What do sex worker advocacy organizations do?

14.  What is the estimated cost of white-collar crime versus street-level property crime?

15.  What is the typical personality profile of a white-collar criminal, and what is the typical social background?


Social Constructions and
Blurred Boundaries

Leon Anderson



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Social Constructions and
Blurred Boundaries

Leon Anderson


University of California Press, one of the most distinguished
university presses in the United States, enriches lives around
the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social
sciences, and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by
the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions
from individuals and institutions. For more information, visit

University of California Press
Oakland, California

© 2017 by Leon Anderson

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Anderson, Leon, 1950- author.
Title: Deviance : social constructions and blurred boundaries /
Leon Anderson.
Description: Oakland, California : University of California Press,
[2017] | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifi ers: lccn 2017003648 (print) | lccn 2017006809 (ebook) |
isbn 9780520292376 (pbk. : alk. paper) | isbn 9780520965935

Subjects: lcsh: Deviant behavior. | Criminal behavior. | Mental
illness. | Social interaction. | Social ethics.
Classifi cation: lcc hm811 .a57 2017 (print) | lcc hm811 (ebook) |
ddc 302.5/42—dc23
lc record available at

26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Preface xi

Theories and Methods in Deviance
Studies 1
Chapter 1: Views of Deviance 3

Introduction 4

Blurred Boundaries: The Drama of Deviance 4

Deviance as Demonic 6

Deviance as Psychotic 8

Deviance as Exotic 10

Deviance as Symbolic Interaction: A Sociological
Approach 12

Social Acts 13
Focus on Observable Behavior 14
Symbolic Interaction 16

The Sociological Promise 17

Summary 18

Keywords 19

Chapter 2: Getting Close to Deviance 21

Blurred Boundaries I: Getting Close to Deviance 22

Sociology as a Mode of Inquiry 23

Counting Deviants 25
Value of Surveys and Offi cial Statistics 25
Limitations of Offi cial Statistics 26
Counting Rape and Sexual Assault 27
Offi cial Statistics as Organizational Processes 29
Summing Up the Numbers 31

Challenges of Deviance Ethnography 32
Focus of Deviance Ethnography 33
Gaining Access 34
Getting People to Open Up 36
Fieldwork Roles 37
Getting Along in the Field 39
Collecting Data 41

Narrative Analysis 42
Understanding Social Worlds Different from
Our Own 43

Getting the Big Picture: Sociohistorical
Comparison 45

Blurred Boundaries II: How Close is too Close? 46

Summary 47

Keywords 48

Chapter 3: Positivistic Theories of Deviant
Behavior 49

Blurred Boundaries I: Why is Mike in Jail? 50

Introduction to Positivistic Theories 51

Biological Theories of Deviance 53
Lombroso’s Italian School of Positivist Criminology 53
Biological Theories in Twentieth-Century America 54
Critique and Further Directions 55

Social Structural Theories 57
Social Disorganization Theory 57

Critique and Further Directions 59
Anomie Theory 61

Durkheim’s “Anomie” 61
Merton’s “Social Structure and Anomie” 62
Critique and Further Directions 64

Socialization Theories 66
Differential Association Theory 67

Sutherland’s Key Principles 68
Critique and Further Directions 69

Social Learning Theory 70
Critical Evaluation 71

Social Control Theories 71
Social Bond Theory 73
Self-Control Theory 74

Critical Evaluation 75

Blurred Boundaries II: “Infl uences” versus
“Causes” 76

Summary 77

Keywords 78


Chapter 4: Symbolic Interactionist/Social
Constructionist Perspective 81

Blurred Boundaries I: Consensus and Confl ict in
Constructing Deviants 82

The Roots of Symbolic Interaction: The
Social Self 83

Labeling Theory and Social Construction 84

Social Construction of Deviance Categories 87
Resource Mobilization and Deviance Framing 88

Resource Mobilization 88
Deviance Framing 89
Credibility 90

Atrocity Tales 90
Cultural Resonance 91

Initial Rule-Breaking and Primary Deviance 93
Primary versus Secondary Deviance 93
Biography and Effective Environment 94
Techniques of Neutralization 96
The Roles of Others 97
Turning On 97
Limits of Voluntary Choice 97

Processing Deviants 98
Stereotyping and Master Statuses 99
Institutionalizing Deviance 100

Typifi cations and Recipe Knowledge 101

Stigmatization and Resistance 103
Stigmatization and Role Engulfment 104
Stigma Management and Resistance 105

Stigma Management among the
Discreditable 106
Stigma Management among the
Discredited 106
In-Group Stigma Management 108

Blurred Boundaries II: Framing Surprising
Alliances 109

Summary 111

Keywords 111

High Consensus Criminal Deviance 115
Chapter 5: Murder 117

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Convicted Murderers 118

Current Constructions of Murder in the
United States 119

Types of Murder 120
Statistical Snapshot 121

Challenges in Researching Murder 122
Counting Murder 122
Getting Close 123

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Murder 125
Different Defi nitions 125
Different “Causes” 125
Different Responses 127

History of Murder in the United States 128
Early America 129

Whites and Native Americans 129
Whites and Slaves 129
White-on-White Murder 130

Civil War to World War I 130
Post-World War II 132
Landscape of Murder in the New Millennium 133

Social Capital and Homicide 133

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 135
Character Contests: Six Stages 136

Stage One: Personal Offense 137
Stage Two: Assessment 137
Stage Three: Retaliation 137
Stage Four: Working Agreement 138
Stage Five: Battle 138
Stage Six: Resolution 138

Contemporary Responses to Murder 139
Punitive Responses 140
Contextual Responses 141

Stigma Management and Resistance 143

Blurred Boundaries II: Is Assisted Suicide Murder? 145

Summary 146

Keywords 147

Chapter 6: Rape 149

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Sexual Assaults 150

Current Constructions of Rape in the
United States 152

Types of Rape 152
Statistical Snapshot 153

Challenges in Researching Rape 154
Counting Rape 154
Getting Close 155

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Rape 157
Different Defi nitions 157
Different “Causes” 159
Different Responses 160

History of Rape in the United States 161
Early America 162
Post-Civil War Era 163
Feminist Era: 1960s–Present 164

Rape Proclivity and Routine Activity Theories 165

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 167
Stranger Rape 167

Phase One: Preexisting Life Tensions 167

Phase Two: Transformation of Motivation into
Action 168
Phase Three: Perpetrator–Victim Confrontation 168
Phase Four: Situation Management 169
Phase Five: Disengagement 169

Party Rape 170

Contemporary Responses to Rape 171
Identifying and Processing Rapists 171
Treatment of Rape in the Courts 172

Stigma Management and Resistance 174

Blurred Boundaries II: What is Too Drunk to Say
Yes? 177

Summary 178

Keywords 179

Chapter 7: Financially Motivated Crime in the
Streets 181

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Thieves 182

Current Constructions of Street-level Property
Crimes in the United States 184

Types of Street-level Property Crime 184
Statistical Snapshot 185

Challenges in Researching Street-level Property
Crimes 186

Counting Street-level Property Crime 186
Getting Close 187

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Street-level Property
Crime 189

Different Defi nitions 189
Different “Causes” 191
Different Response 192

History of Street-level Property Crimes in the
United States 194

Merton’s Social Structure and Anomie 196

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic
Voices 196

Contemporary Responses to Street-level Property
Crime 202

Stigma Management and Resistance 205

Blurred Boundaries II: A College Education for
Prisoners? 207

Summary 208

Keywords 210

Chapter 8: White-Collar Crime 211

Blurred Boundaries I: Two White-Collar Crimes 212

Current Constructions of White-Collar Crimes in the
United States 214

Types of White-Collar Crime 214
Statistical Snapshot 216

Challenges in Researching White-Collar Crime 217
Counting Crime in the Suites 217
Getting Close 219

Cross-Cultural Constructions of White-Collar
Crime 220

Different Defi nitions 221
Different “Causes” 222
Different Responses 223

History of White-Collar Crime in the United States 224
Rise of the Robber Barons 225
Progressive Era and Regulatory Control 226
White-Collar Crime in the United States Today 228

Merton’s Social Structure and Anomie 230

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic
Voices 231

Contemporary Responses to White-Collar
Crime 234

Stigma Management and Resistance 237

Blurred Boundaries II: Should Michael Milken Get a
Presidential Pardon? 239

Summary 240

Keywords 241

Lifestyle Deviance 243
Chapter 9: Alcohol Abuse 245

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Faces of
Problem Drinking 246

Current Constructions of Alcohol Abuse in the
United States 247

Types of Alcohol Abusers 247
Statistical Snapshot 248

Challenges in Researching Alcohol Abuse 249
Counting Alcohol Abuse 249
Getting Close 250

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Alcohol Abuse 251
Different Defi nitions 252
Different “Causes” 252
Different Responses 253

History of Problem Drinking in the United States 254
Pioneer America 254
The Road to Prohibition 255
The Medicalization of Problem Drinking 257
The Age of Ambivalence 258

Social Learning Theory and Alcohol Abuse 258

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 260
College Binge Drinker 261

The Alcoholic 262
Drunk Drivers 264

Contemporary Responses to Problem Drinking 265
Punitive/Treatment Response 265
Contextual Responses 266

Stigma Management and Resistance 269
In-Group Strategies 269
Out-Group Strategies 269
Alcoholics Anonymous and Identity Transformation 270

Blurred Boundaries II: Contextual Responses to
College Drinking 272

Summary 274

Keywords 275

Chapter 10: Drug Abuse 277

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Drug Abusers 278

Current Constructions of Drug Abuse in the
United States 280

Types of Drug Use and Abuse 280
Statistical Snapshot 281

Challenges in Researching Drug Abuse 281
Counting Illegal Drug Use 282
Getting Close 283

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Drug Abuse 284
Different Defi nitions 285
Different “Causes” 285
Different Responses 286

History of Drug Abuse in the United States 287
Unregulated Early America 287
Road to Punitive Prohibition 288
The War on Drugs 290

Social Learning Theory and Drug Abuse 292

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic
Voices 293

Marijuana 294
Hard “Street” Drugs 294

Contemporary Responses to Drug Abuse 297
Punitive Prohibition and Reducing Supply 298
Drug Courts 299
Harm Reduction 301

Stigma Management and Resistance 302
In-Group Stigma Management 302
Out-Group Stigma Management 303
Collective Action 305

Blurred Boundaries II: Is It Time to Legalize
Drugs? 306

Summary 307

Keywords 308

Chapter 11: Sex Work 311

Blurred Boundaries I: The Street Prostitute and the
Playboy College Girl 312

Current Constructions of Sex Work and Pornography
in the United States 314

Types of Sex Work 314
Statistical Snapshot 315

Challenges in Researching Sex Work 316
Counting Sex Work 316
Getting Close 317

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Sex Work 319
Different Defi nitions 319
Different “Causes” 320
Different Responses 321

History of Sex Work in the United States 322
Antebellum America and the Wild West 322
The Gilded Age of US Prostitution 323
The Great Social Evil 324
The Internet Era 325

Merton’s Anomie and Social Learning Theories 326

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 327
Prostitution 327

Street Prostitution 328
Massage Parlors and Brothels 329
Escort Services 330

Dancing for Dollars 331
Oppression and Empowerment Paradigms 334

Contemporary Responses to Sex Work 335
Policing Prostitution 335
Rehabilitation Programs 336
Legalization and Regulation 337

Stigma Management and Resistance 337
Techniques of Neutralization 337
Living in the Closet 338
Stigma Management with Customers 338
Mutual Support 339
Coming Out of the Closet and Collective Action 339

Blurred Boundaries II: The John Shaming
Debate 341

Summary 343

Keywords 344

Status Deviance 345
Chapter 12: Mental Illness 347

Blurred Boundaries I: Two Faces of Mental Illness 348

Current Constructions of Mental Illness in the
United States 350

Statistical Snapshot 350

Challenges in Researching Mental Illness 351
Counting Mentally Illness 351
Getting Close 353

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Mental
Illness 354

Different Defi nitions 354
Different “Causes” 355
Different Treatments 356

History of Mental Illness in the United States 357
Era of the Asylum 357
Deinstitutionalization Era 359
Antidepressant Era 360

Social Stress Theory 360

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic
Voices 361

Alienation from Place 363
Defi nitive Outburst 363
Help-Seeking 364
The Medication Experience 364

Depression and Medication 365
Schizophrenia and Medication 366

Hospitalization 367

Contemporary Responses to Mental Illness 369
Community Care? 369
Criminalization of Mental Illness 370
Mental Health Courts 372

Stigma Management and Resistance 374
In-Group Stigma Management 374
Out-Group Strategies 376
Collective Action 377

Blurred Boundaries II: A Hyper Child of Your
Own 378

Summary 379

Keywords 380

Chapter 13: Obesity and Eating Disorders 383

Blurred Boundaries I: Two “Fat” People 384

Current Constructions of Obesity and Eating
Disorders in the United States 385

Types of Obesity and Eating Disorders 386
Statistical Snapshot 386

Challenges in Researching Obesity and Eating
Disorders 388

Counting Obesity and Eating Disorders 388
Getting Close 389

Cross-Cultural Constructions of Obesity and
Eating Disorders 390

Different Defi nitions 390
Different “Causes” 391
Different Responses 392

History of Obesity and Eating Disorders in the
United States 393

Colonial America 394
Rise of the Antifat Campaign 394
Fat in the Feminist Era 396

Calories In-Calories Out and Self-Control Theory 398

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 400
Dieting and Fitness Programs 402
Facing Failure 403
The Costs of Weight Obsession 404

Contemporary Responses to Obesity 405
Weight-Loss and Fitness Industry 406
Medical Drugs 407
Surgery 407
Social Policy and Government Regulation 408

Stigma Management and Resistance 409
Weight-Loss Support Groups 409
Challenging Frames 410

Blurred Boundaries II: Banning Weight Discrimination
in the Workplace 412

Summary 413

Keywords 414

Chapter 14: LGBTQ Identities 417

Blurred Boundaries: Two Stories of Same-Sex
Attraction 418

Current Constructions of LGBTQ Identities in the
United States 420

Statistical Snapshot 421

Challenges in LGBTQ Research 422
Counting LGBTQ Identities and Sexual Behavior 422
Getting Close 423

Cross-Cultural LGBTQ Constructions 424
Different Defi nitions 424
Different “Causes” 425
Different Responses 427

LGBTQ History in the United States 428
Early American Secrecy 428
1890s to World War II 429
The Cold War on Homosexuals 430
Era of Collective Action and Conservative
Responses 431
A Post-Gay Era? 433

The Limits of Positivistic Approaches 435

Interactional Contexts and Ethnographic Voices 436
Straight Gay Sex Today 436
Coming Out 438

Contemporary Responses to LGBTQ Issues 441

Stigma Management and Resistance 443

Blurred Boundaries II: “Gay” or “Straight”? 447

Summary 447

Keywords 449

References 451
Index 469


Th is book embraces a vision of deviance as a set
of social processes involving a wide range of
social dynamics and infl uences, including the
multiple infl uences on human behavior empha-
sized by many positivistic theories of deviant
behavior. Th e overarching approach of the book,
however, is fully grounded in symbolic interac-
tionism. Among the analytic approaches to
deviance, only symbolic interactionism (or
social construction, as some prefer) moves
beyond the limited question of “what causes
deviant behavior?” As valuable as the answers to
that question can be, focusing solely on the
causes of deviant behavior can give the inaccu-
rate impression that what is defi ned as deviant
behavior is always and everywhere the same.
But while all human cultures have made dis-
tinctions between good and bad acts, what has
been considered good or bad has varied widely.
Defi nitions of deviance are far from universal,
even within most societies at any given point in
time. Focusing exclusively on the causes of devi-
ant behavior misses more of the deviance proc-
ess than it captures.


Symbolic interactionism has been critical to the
study of deviance since the early 1960s, but in the
1970s popular interpretations of interactionist
contributions to the study of deviance focused
overwhelmingly on labeling theory. The core
insight of labeling theory was the idea that being

identifi ed and treated as deviant often leads to
increased deviant behavior and role engulfment
in a deviant identity. Th e social contexts in which
that insight holds remains an important empiri-
cal question, but it is only a piece of what sym-
bolic interaction has to off er to the study of devi-
ance. This book provides instructors and
students with a broader interactionist/construc-
tionist analysis of the deviance process, focused
on (1) activities of moral entrepreneurs who seek
to defi ne certain behaviors and statuses as devi-
ant, (2) thoughts and actions of rule-breakers
who knowingly or unknowingly violate the rules,
(3) social control eff orts focused on identifying
and sanctioning or treating rule-breakers, and (4)
the responses of rule-breakers to the formal and
informal social control eff orts directed at them.

Moral Entrepreneurship

Th e term “moral entrepreneur” was created by
Howard Becker in his 1963 study of the Federal
Bureau of Narcotics campaign to defi ne mari-
juana as harmful and its users as evil. Scholars
have found the concept useful for examining
the social construction of what Stanley Cohen
(1973) terms “moral panics” related to a wide
range of deviance categories. Analysis focused
on the creation and dissemination of “atrocity
tales” (Bromley et al. 1979) has provided an
additional vantage point to assess the narrative
similarities underlying the creation of moral
panics related to a wide range of deviance cate-
gories. Finally, David Snow and colleagues’


xii Preface

(Snow et al. 1986a; Snow and Benford 1988)
studies of “framing processes” have provided
additional concepts for analyzing deviance that
link moral entrepreneurship to social move-
ments, medical discourse, and popular culture.


Rule-breaking has always been a central focus of
deviance studies, both from positivistic and
interpretive perspectives. While positivistic
theories seek explanations for rule-breaking
that are external to, or at least largely beyond
the control of, those who violate social norms,
symbolic interactionism gives voice to the expe-
riences and identities of those who are defi ned
as deviant. Ethnographic research can be valua-
ble in all fi elds of sociological inquiry, but it is
especially critical when seeking to understand
the experiences of those who consciously violate
social norms. This contribution of symbolic
interactionism and ethnographic research is a
staple of deviance textbooks. Th is book contin-
ues the tradition of drawing on deviance eth-
nographies to share “deviants’” voices in their
own words. But rather than relying mostly on
classic past studies, I have mined the wealth of
recent ethnographies for up-to-date descrip-
tions of deviants’ experiences and voices.

Social Control

Th e interactionist/constructionist approach to
the deviance process recognizes that normative
violations are embedded in broader social con-
texts that gain particular salience when individ-
uals are identifi ed and treated as rule-breakers.
At that point, people who are identifi ed as “devi-
ants” find themselves subject to formal and
informal sanctions and treatment. Often, they
are pu l led into organizationa l processing
through the criminal justice system or medical-
ized treatment programs. Th e societal responses

to those identifi ed as specifi c types of deviants
change over time, typically in tandem with
changing defi nitions of the causes and conse-
quences of deviant behavior. But both labeling
and treating of “deviants” can vary enormously
based on race, class, and gender. This book
draws upon both quantitative and qualitative
research to discuss current societal responses
and biases in punishment and treatment of dif-
ferent kinds of deviants.

Stigma Management and Resistance

Those identified as deviant seldom passively
accept stigmatizing labels and the punitive
treatment directed toward them. Instead, they
engage in a range of stigma management activi-
ties: passing as nondeviant, seeking to minimize
the perception of their deviance, embracing
recovery, and even at times turning the alleged
deviance into a source of pride and power. Th e
options available for resistance and stigma man-
agement vary across deviance categories and
over time, frequently with race, class, and gen-
der diff erences.

Th e deviance process is multifaceted and sel-
dom static for long. What was acceptable and/or
legal at one point in time (regular opiate use or
prostitution) becomes unacceptable and illegal.
What was illegal (use of contraceptives) or con-
sidered mental illness (homosexuality) becomes
widely accepted. As of this writing, “pot” is (or
soon will be) legally sold for recreational use in
eight states, while in many adjacent states and at
the federal level selling marijuana is a felony.
Prison populations soar, leading even conserva-
tive politicians to question mandatory sentenc-
ing practices. And the Internet provides venues
for both moral entrepreneurship and resistance.
The symbolic interactionist/constructionist
perspective outlined above provides an analytic
framework for understanding deviance as a
continually recursive process.

Preface xiii


Th is book is divided into four sections. Section 1
introduces students to the fi eld of deviance stud-
ies, comparing empirical sociological study of
deviance to popular cultural conceptions of
deviant behavior as rooted in evil, illness, or rela-
tivistic cultural diff erences. Chapter 2 highlights
sociology’s commitment to empirical research,
with particular emphasis on the value of ethno-
graphic research for studying deviance. Chapter
3 examines positivistic theories of deviant
behavior and Chapter 4 presents the symbolic
interactionist perspective that will be used in
each of the substantive chapters. Th e following
three sections of the book focus on specifi c com-
mon deviance categories.

Section 2 provides an analysis of several kinds
of criminal deviance that involve unwilling vic-
tims: murder, rape, street-level property crime,
and white-collar crime. Th ese forms of deviance
(or at least the fi rst three) represent types of devi-
ance characterized by high public consensus and
formal legal sanctions. Virtually all societies con-
sider certain kinds of killing, sexual coercion,
and property crime as reprehensible acts. And
yet, what counts as murder, rape, or robbery var-
ies signifi cantly from one culture to another and
even within the United States over time.

Section 3 examines three types of what is
often termed “lifestyle deviance.” These devi-
ance categories are characterized by signifi-
cantly less public consensus concerning their
harmfulness to individuals and society as well as
greatly increased subcultural proliferation. Par-
ticipants often justify these kinds of deviance by
assertions of legitimate lifestyle choice—of indi-
vidual rights and the lack of a victim—claims
that moral entrepreneurs strongly contest.

Section 4 examines a set of deviance catego-
ries often referred to as “status deviance.” People
in these categories are considered deviant by
virtue of negatively evaluated and largely invol-

untary statuses, conditions, or identities that
they have (e.g., illnesses, physical defects, alter-
native sexual orientations and gender identities,
etc.). While status deviance categories involve
the same social processes as other deviance cat-
egories, they exhibit more deviant identit y
transformation and collective action associated
with positive conceptions of those associated
with the deviance category.

Th e chapters in Sections 2 through 4 follow a
uniform organization in order to provide stu-
dents with consistency across chapters and
reinforcement of key concepts and issues.


Th ree pedagogical features of this book warrant
brief discussion. First, each chapter includes
two Blurred Boundary sections, one at the start
of the chapter and the other at chapter end. Th e
term Blurred Boundaries is used throughout
this book to refer to (1) the often hazy distinc-
tions between what is considered moral versus
immoral, or good as opposed to bad, (2) the con-
fusion that results from confl icting and often
overlapping explanations that are given to
explain why people engage in deviant behavior,
and (3) the challenges of developing social poli-
cies to address social harm while respecting
human rights. Th e Blurred Boundaries theme is
integrated throughout the text, challenging stu-
dents to move beyond black-and-white, knee-
jerk reactions and to engage in thoughtful
assessments of deviance categories and social

Second, each chapter includes an optional
mini-research project titled Pushing Your
Boundaries that asks students to collect and/or
briefl y analyze some “data” that are relevant to
specific course topics. These assignments,
which have been fi eld-tested in several classes,
help students see connections between the

course and the world beyond the classroom and
reinforce the importance of empirical research.

Th ird, all chapters (except the introduction)
include a short Claims-Maker Profi le of an indi-
vidual (or couple) who has been a notable advo-
cate for particular claims—either in defining
deviance or responding to it. Chapters in the fi rst
section of the book profi le exemplary deviance
scholars, while chapters in the rest of the book
profi le people who have played signifi cant roles
in social policy or social action related to the
chapter’s topic. The profiles connect personal
faces and memorable stories to chapter topics,
illustrating the importance of engaged social


Th e Instructor’s Manual includes chapter out-
lines; Power Point lectures; a test bank with
essay, short-answer, and multiple-choice ques-
t ion s; a nd suggested v ideo a nd Internet
resources for each chapter. The Instructor’s
Manual a lso prov ides suggested st udent
Blackboard/WebCT discussion group topics
and exercises for instructors who want to use
web-based pedagogy.


Th is book has been a long time in coming. I want
to thank Chris Caldeira and Th omas Vander Ven

for their early enthusiasm and support for the
project. Seth Dobrin and Nic Albert at the Uni-
versity of California Press have given me critical
guidance for bringing the book to completion.
Matthew Austin provided teaching assistance
the first time I taught the course using these
materials at Ohio University. Stephe

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