pcdint95 - Interactionist View of Deviance I NTERACTIONIST...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Interactionist View of Deviance I NTERACTIONIST   V IEW   OF   D EVIANCE :   H OWARD   B ECKER   –  D EFINING  D EVIANCE Interactionist View of Deviance/22/3/2000/P.Covington/ Introduction          Interactionists or anti-positivists as some writers call them, work with relative rather than absolute definitions of deviance. That is, they argue that there are no behaviours that are intrinsically deviant . Instead deviant actions are simply those, which are defined as deviant within a particular setting on culture. It follows from this that there can be no individuals who are intrinsically deviant either. Rather, the behaviour that people exhibit may sometimes be labelled deviant by others, but on other occasions it may be regarded as acceptable and even normal. Interactionists therefore, are interested in the social processes by which particular behaviours come to be understood as deviant and the consequences of these for those who are labelled deviant. The Origins of Interactionist Theories of Deviance While interactionists’ explanations of deviance come to the fore in the 1960’s and 1970’s, their origins can be traced back to the arguments between philosophers in the 18 th and 19 th C. At that time, there existed some tension between the rationalist philosophers that gave rise to positivism and the idealist philosophers. Glossary: Master Status : Describes how once a label has been applied to someone, all the actions that a person performs or have performed in the past are interpreted in the light of the label . We may stop talking of a ‘dedicated sociology teacher’ and merely refer to the person as a thief , etc Interactionist View of Deviance 1
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Interactionist View of Deviance Basic Approach of Interactionism; why it is Different The interactionist perspective differs in two ways compared to other approaches. Theoretically opposed, it rejects the positivistic notion of deviants simply reacting to external forces largely beyond their control. Instead of blaming deviants, and looking at their motivations, pressures and social forces it looks at interaction between deviants and those who define them as deviant . It particularly looks at how and why certain groups are defined as deviant and the effects of such a definition. I.e. the interaction between deviants, parents, teachers, doctors, police, judges, and probation officers is analysed. It emphasises the importance of the meanings the various actors bring to and develop within the interaction situation . Thus it examines the set pictures of the ‘typical delinquent’ held by the police, black, young, working class etc, and compares this with other groups who are seen as non delinquent i.e. middle class male.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 01/02/2012 for the course SOC 201 taught by Professor Ambersmith during the Fall '09 term at N.C. State.

Page1 / 10

pcdint95 - Interactionist View of Deviance I NTERACTIONIST...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online