DOMESTIC MARIJUANA CULTIVATION 3 types of marijuana growers: hustlers, pragmatists, communal growers Intangible rewards: spiritual, social, intrinsic What types of rationalizations for their behavior are marijuana growers apt to give? What is your reaction to the types of intangible rewards that growers experience? (e.g., Does a consideration of these rewards “normalize” the behavior?)
Detroit Crack Ethnography Project Women crack cocaine dealers – how/why did the women get involved? How dependent on male associates are these women? * Some are relatively independent * Some are “rollers” (sell drugs as salespersons for others) * Some experience various roles What explanations account for these women’s involvement in selling drugs? What, if anything, surprised you about the findings in this study?
Motives and Mechanics of drug dealing 3 primary motives behind dealing drugs: Financial gain, greed, addiction to the lifestyle Mechanics (practices): Selection of buyers Arranging drug transactions Avoiding and identifying law enforcement In what ways are drug dealers like other business people in conventional types of jobs?
Drug use as deviance – 4 aspects of chemical substances: *Psychoactive *Recreational dimension *Illegality *Public definition
What are some explanations for substance use? *Alleviation of pain *Getting high *Relief of tension, anxiety, or boredom *Source of identity *Peer pressure *Expression of defiance *Increased endurance, concentration, perceived skill *Release inhibitions *Lose control/responsibility *Expression of self-destructive tendencies *Religious purposes – a search for the sacred?
The Illegality of Drugs 1875 – San Francisco passed a city ordinance banning the smoking of opium, primarily as a tool against Chinese laborers. Laws that make drug use “deviance” serve to symbolize the moral superiority of members of the dominant culture. Drug use will be transformed into deviance when it threatens the capitalist system. Transforming drug use into deviance serves to legitimize surveillance in the workplace. What has been U.S. society’s reaction to drug use? What are some alternatives? Arguments for legalization?
Marc Emery Goes to Jail Marc Emery was sentenced to 90 days in jail in Saskatoon on Aug. 19, 2004 on a charge of trafficking marijuana. Emery shared two marijuana cigarettes with individuals after he gave a political speech on March 22, 2004 at the University of Saskatoon. The London Free Press reported that he was released from jail Monday (Oct. 18) after serving two- thirds of his sentence. On his release from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, he launched into a contemptuous diatribe against what he called Saskatchewan's intolerable attitudes. "If you had to choose somewhere in Canada to live, you'd really need a good reason to live in Saskatchewan.... There is no beacon of tolerance and enlightenment that makes you overlook everything else."
THE SOCIAL DRUGS: Tobacco (The smoker as “deviant”?) Caffeine Alcohol Consider the medicalization of alcoholism…Implications? What about alternative views of addiction? (e.g., Stanton Peele)
Stanton Peele defines addiction as a pattern of behavior and experience which is best understood by examining an individual’s relationship with his/her world. Implications of this view: addiction is not a medical problem; addiction is not unusual. “Harm Reduction” – Instead of trying to eliminate illegal drugs, we can focus on limiting the damage that some people do to themselves and others as a result of abusing drugs. Key techniques: Accept and respond to improvement. Humility (vs. perfectionism) is a clinical skill. Therapists need to realize that change takes time. Learning to take care of oneself is a skill.
Sexual Deviance The Kinsey Report Alfred Kinsey’s report on Americans’ sexual practices (in 1948) surprised people. “Cruising for Sex in Public Places” How does one learn the norms of a public sex arena? Explicit instruction from a friend, observing others’ actions, through sanctions. Participants’ attempts to shield identity make nonverbal communication important.
Sexual Deviance “Rape Myths and Violence Against Street Prostitutes” 4 themes (myths): 1. Prostitutes are unrapeable. 2. No harm was done. 3. Prostitutes deserve violence against them. 4. All prostitutes are the same.
Sexual Deviance What are some different “styles” of prostitution? (e.g., streetwalkers, call girls) Who else is involved in the subculture of prostitution? the pimp the john How do prostitutes view the client? (think of the terminology – “turning tricks”)
Sexual Deviance What are some sociological explanations of prostitution? Exploitation – poverty and inequality are the main factors Functionalism – prostitution is said to preserve the social order Learning – prostitutes are made, not born Labeling – 3 stages to becoming a prostitute: drift, transition, professionalization
Childhood stutterers What unintended consequences might attendance at speech therapy have for the children? What is meant by “role engulfment” and how is it relevant here? How is Labeling Theory applicable?
Participant observation of weight loss therapy groups What form does the stigmatization of over-weight people take? How can people “manage” the stigma? Rely on accounts: excuses, justifications, apologies
Pediatric Intersexuality “intersexed condition” – Both ovarian and testicular tissue are present; or, the infant has either ovaries or testes but the genitals are ambiguous. How do physicians normalize the condition to the parents? * being intersexed is viewed as a variation on a theme * stress the normalcy of the infant in other aspects * organs are viewed as “undeveloped” * emphasize importance of social factors over biological ones FOR DISCUSSION: Why is the term “gender” used rather than “sex”? To what extent is gender a social construction? Is sex ambiguous by nature?
The Stigma of Involuntary Childlessness 2 traditional fertility norms: All married couples should reproduce; all married couples should want to reproduce. Given these norms, childlessness among married couples becomes a potentially stigmatizing status. Strategies used to handle information about infertility: 1. Selective Concealment 2. Therapeutic Disclosure 3. Preventive Disclosure (e.g., medical disclaimer, deviance avowal) What other deviant categories of people might use such strategies?
Genetic Essentialism and Social Deviance Revisiting the Nature/Nurture Debate – Genetic science can be used to explain differences in human behavior (e.g., sexual orientation). Genetic labels seem to have the power to construct identities. Are we increasingly defined by our genetic predispositions? Implications of genetic explanations? What other groups of so-called deviants may be affected by genetic science?
The Disease (or Medical) Model of Deviance Deviance is attributed to illness rather than willful activity; deviance is a “condition” with identifiable causes, which my be cured. What form does social control take? (Treatment) If one’s condition may be categorized as “medical,” then he/she is cast into the “sick role.” Implications of this perspective/Critique? What are some social and political implications of the medicalization of addiction?
Informal Deviance Informal Deviance - Deviation from commonly accepted customs and practices (EXAMPLES?). Others’ reactions…informal social control may take the form of ridicule, glances, gossip. The informal deviance may be unintentional (e.g., wearing clothing not appropriate for the situation), or it may be intentional (e.g., members of subcultures expressing their deviant identity).
Informal Deviance - Style Appearance & Self - What does our appearance say about who we are? What kind of identity are we trying to present? Appearance & Social Status - In what ways do clothing and accessories reveal our position in the social stratification system? Appearance & Gender – What kinds of sanctions are applied when people don’t dress consistent with their sex? Appearance & Age – What expectations (in terms of appearance) do we have of someone based upon his/her age? Appearance & Conformity – How do clothes reflect conformity? Appearance & Deviance – How do subcultures express themselves through appearance?
Informal Deviance - Style What appearance and etiquette norms guide dating couples? How have these norms changed over time?
Informal Deviance - Sports Sports & Conformity “The American Ideology of Sport” How do sports encourage conformity? Sports & Deviance * Deviant conduct on the field of play * Deviant conduct off the field * Manipulation of the outcome of games (e.g., gambling) SHOULD ATHLETES BE HELD TO HIGHER STANDARDS?
Informal Deviance - Sports Women’s Ice Hockey Hockey has traditionally been defined as a men’s sport. How do female hockey players claim a space in this context? > The locker room is a place where community can be constructed – e.g., shared interest in hockey, group identification, bonding. (Contrast with men’s locker rooms where degradation of women is common). OTHER SPORTS WHERE WOMEN MAY NEED TO “CLAIM” A SPACE OF THEIR OWN?
Informal Deviance - Sports The Gendered World of Male Rugby Players The rugby ritual has 3 themes: 1. Survival of the fittest. 2. No pain, no gain. 3. Relational rejection of the feminine.
Informal Deviance - Sports The Deviant World of Cockfighting Heels are artificial spurs – one type is the gaff, which is a spur fitted onto the rooster’s leg. The knife is a razor-sharp steel blade affixed to one leg of the rooster. For those who use gaffs, the knife is viewed as detrimental to the sport.
Informal Deviance – Rock Music Opposition to rock music has come from: Parents (e.g., Parents’ Music Resource Center) Academics (e.g., scholars from the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory; contemporary psychiatrists who link rock music to a whole host of problems faced by adolescents) Religious leaders (suggestions that rock music corrupts youth) Politicians (e.g., the Conservative Right; McCarthy’s followers in the 1950s; Vice-President Spiro Agnew in the 1970s) Media (control rock subcultures by co-optation; perform gate- keeping functions) ARE THE THEMES OF ROCK MUSIC MORE DEVIANT THAN THOSE IN OTHER GENRES OF MUSIC?
Deviance in Everyday Interactions “Everyday Deviances” are occasional slip-ups which temporarily mark one as awkward. Efforts to avoid everyday deviances: 1. Control of Space 2. Control of Props 3. Control of Bodies
Meddling as Deviant? Consider the work of Chuck Edgley & Denny Brissett – “Health Nazis” (society’s emphasis on the moral responsibility we have to achieve the perfect body). MEDDLING What is meddling? A thrusting of oneself, often boldly, into the affairs of others. 2 types of meddlers: amateur and professional Why people meddle: generate money, establish power, entertainment, develop self-knowledge, a way to be remembered, feeling of superiority
Meddling Justifications given for meddling: “It affects me, too.” “It’s best for everyone involved.” “It’s for your own good.” “You don’t know what you’re doing.” “I’m just trying to help.” Why people allow themselves to be meddled with: Belief in expertise. Doubt and fear. Sympathy, attention, etc.
Meddling Rationales for Meddling: * Belief in rational solutions to human problems. * Declining belief in fate, luck, chance. * Belief in the expertise of specialists. * The rise of the therapeutic ethic. * Focus on others’ expectations (David Riesman’s notion of other-directedness). * The Rights Revolution. Consider ideological rationales available to the meddler: health, the children, community, prevention, etc.
Meddling Questions for Discussion: Is meddling a deviant act? How is meddling connected to conformity, morality, and individual responsibility for well-being? What is the relevance of the “blaming the victim” phenomenon? What justifications have you used (or observed others using) for meddling? What are some positive aspects of meddling?
Subcultures A subculture is a culture within a culture – a collection of norms, values, and beliefs whose content is distinguishable from that of the dominant culture. For some people, participation in a subculture reinforces beliefs they hold. For others, exposure to a subculture may cause them to question their mainstream beliefs. For many people, subcultures are a means of establishing relationships with others like themselves.
Subcultures Subcultures are often based on musical style (e.g., punk, disco, rap) Subcultures often have their own slang and jargon. Examples? Examples of subcultures: youth culture, delinquent subculture, street addict subculture, prostitution, biker subculture, homosexual subculture
Subcultures Biker Women – 2 important categories: “mamas” and “old ladies” Rituals: initiation, earning “wings” Expectation: earn money Motivations of the women: love of motorcycles excitement attracted to macho men low self-esteem
Subcultures Queer Punk Fanzines A fanzine is a non-profit publication that circulates among the fans and musicians of a particular form of music. An example of a queer punk fanzine: Homocore, which focuses more on communication among readers about sexuality than about music. The “letters” section helps establish community. We see here an example of how culture is a contested terrain – subordinate groups challenge the dominant group through the formation of identity and the building of community.