1. Describe the process of social typing. Pull examples from Becker’s “Outsiders”, Heckert and Best’s “Redheads as Deviant Types,” and Cahill and Eggleston’s “Wheelchair Users.”
2. Discuss the cultural context of deviant behavior, particularly paying attention to the cultural expectations for people due to their sex, age, and social class background. Pull examples Mercer’s “Labeling the Mentally Retarded,” Weinberg and Williams’ “Fecal Matters,” and Dellinger and Williams’ “The Labeling of Sexual Harassment.”
3. Discuss the accommodation to deviance that members in society make for the deviant behavior of members in their life or group. Use the following readings as examples to illustrate how people accommodate the deviant: Ferraro and Johnson’s “How Women Experience Battering,” Lynch’s “Accommodation to Madness,” and Kenney’s “When Accommodation Breaks Down.”
4. Discuss the role of third parties in the typing of the person by some outsider, outside agency, or some third party. Use Rubington’s “The Enforcement of College Alcohol Policy,” Lemert’s “Paranoia and the Dynamics of Exclusion,” and Goffman’s “The Moral Career of the Mental Patient” for your examples.
5. A special perspective, composed of rules, beliefs, and practices, underlies the formal processing of deviants. Describe how the processing of deviants takes on a routine character as agents become familiar with the agency’s perspective, particularly how people become deviants, how the agency processes its deviant clientele, and the basis of the agency’s claim for expertise in regulating deviance. Use examples from Waegel’s “Case Routinization in Investigative Police Work,” Fox’s “Control Agents and the Creation of Deviant Types,” and Loseke and Cahill’s “Experts on Battered Women” to illustrate the formal processing of deviants.
6. Agents of control devise a shared perspective that evolves through close and frequent interaction with colleagues that helps in categorizing people who have come to the attention of the agency, as well as helps in specifying which agent should do what and when, and how and why action should be taken in the course of the client’s contact with the agency. Describe this process using examples from Morris’ “Disciple in an Urban School,” Frohmann’s “Sexual Assault,” and Holstein’s “Mental Illness Assumptions in Commitment Hearings.”
7. When a person comes into contact with an agency of social control, the agency may view the person solely in terms of the deviant label, which may call into question the person’s “good name” and give the person a bad reputation. Discuss the assumptions made about all of the people processed by organizations of control and the set of common characteristics it is believed these people share, as well as how “what people believe to be real will be real in its consequences. Use Chambliss’ “The Saints and the Roughnecks,” Nack’s “Medical Daignosis and the Reinforcement of Deviant Labels,” and Herman and Miall’s “The Positive Consequences of Stigma” to illustrate this self-fulfilling prophecy.
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