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Like earlier editions of The Deviance Process, the purpose of this thoroughly revised and updated text is to offer students a perspective for studying deviance that will help them make sense of their everyday lives. The perspective used by the authors is identified as social constructionist, one includes elements of interactionist and...
Like earlier editions of The Deviance Process, the purpose of this thoroughly revised and updated text is to offer students a perspective for studying deviance that will help them make sense of their everyday lives. The perspective used by the authors is identified as social constructionist, one includes elements of interactionist and phenomenological sociology. Unlike texts that view deviance as the "essence" of things, independent of the mind of the observer, the authors perceive deviance, and its opposite, "normality," as impermanent, human creations resulting from people interacting with one another. This view regards deviance as the outcome of the antagonisms, contradictions, and conflicts in society. It pays serious attention to people's explanations for their actions, to the creation of moral meanings, and to the labeling, stigmatizing, and banning of one or another kind of behavior. Pfuhl and Henry's perspective requires that deviance be studied, at least in part, in political terms, i.e., as a fundamental part of the business of making and enforcing public rules, as an outgrowth of social policy. Above all, it requires that deviance be understood not as a static element, but as a sequential process, a series of events and actions occurring over time.
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