SOC208 – Left Handed Devils: The Social Construction of Deviance

Abstract

We’re using our understanding of the three schools of sociological theory to breakdown deviance and crime this week. What is deviance? What is crime? How are they different? How does society create the definitions of what is a deviant behavior and what is a criminal act? We discuss power and inequality, as well as look at deviance and crime through the lens of the three schools of sociological thought – structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. Check out our previous episode on the three schools of thought, SOC207, if you haven’t already so you understand our discussion today! Thanks for listening and please give us a rating, too!

Keywords

Deviance, Crime, Criminology, Social Construction

Sources

SOC207 – Three Schools of Thought: Conflict Theory, Structural Functionalism, and Symbolic Interactionism

Abstract

This week we go back to the basics by introducing the three schools of sociological thought – conflict theory, structural functionalism, and symbolic interactionism. Knowing these three schools is a must for any aspiring sociologist. Join us as we discuss how Marx theorized the process of social change through conflict, why Durkheim believed society needed religion in order to function, and why people interpret the symbolic significance of guns differently. Which school of thought do you subscribe to?

Keywords

Sociology, theory, social theory, conflict theory, symbolic interactionism, structural functionalism

Sources

  1. Definition of social theory 
  2. Understanding Social Problems, 5th ed by Mooney, Knox, and Schacht, 2007.
  3. A fun and short video from Crash Course titled, “Major Sociological Paradigms” that may help better understand the three theories
  4. Conflict – Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto 
  5. Conflict – Arlie Hochschild’s The Managed Heart
  6. Structural Functionalism – Talcott Parson’s The Social System
  7. Structural Functionalism – Emile Durkheim’s The Division of Labour in Society 
  8. Symbolic Interactionism – Herbert Blumer’s Symbolic Interactionism 
  9. Symbolic Interactionism – George Herbert Mead’s Mind, Self, and Society
  10. Symbolic Interactionism – An excerpt from Charles Cooley about the Looking Glass Self