The «life» and «death» of the sociology of deviance: causes of decline and perspectives on renewal

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14515/monitoring.2017.5.09

Keywords:

history of sociology, sociology of deviance, deviance, normative order of society, moral relativism, social control, construction of deviance, labeling approach, stigmatization, social harm

Abstract

The article discusses the crisis state of the sociology of deviance. Once successful, this discipline is currently experiencing a decline as evidenced by the discussion in scholarly journals concerning the efficiency of the sociology of deviance as an academic discipline and the productivity of deviance as an analytical category. A small number of deviance-related works in the leading sociological journals (especially compared to the period of rise of this discipline in the 1960s and the 1970s) proves that. The author considers criticism over this discipline. Based on the analysis of the debate over the «death of deviance», the author concludes that the discipline needs to be revised. Hence, there is a tendency toward defining deviance as a neutral notion (such as «non-conventional » behavior) and an attempt to turn the discipline from self-sustainable into «a tool aimed to improve the sensitivity» of social researcher. At the same time, the deviance concept can be «reset» if an integral approach is developed.

Published

2017-11-10

Issue

Section

THEORY AND HISTORY