Sociology Deviance
by
Dick Hobbs
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 April 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0012

Introduction

The study of deviant behavior, although now partially obscured by the relentless expansion of criminology, remains central to the discipline of sociology due to its wider, more flexible range and its ability to focus on activity that may transgress societal norms or expectations, while not necessarily breaking laws. Although the study of deviance may touch on social policy, criminology, penology, anthropology, psychology, and human geography, it retains a distinctive edge by using a range of predominantly qualitative methods and theoretical tools such as social interactionism, social constructionism, and phenomenology. These methods are used to highlight the artificial distinction between honest and dishonest, legal and illegal, as well as the manner in which deviant behavior is socially constructed, which are consequently integral to the normative order. The tendency of scholars of deviance is to be committed to observation and interaction, with their central principle being that deviance is normal, unremarkable, and essentially a product of human interaction rather than a pathological state of being.

This article was written with the assistance of Roxana Bratu.

Classic Works

The sociological understanding of deviance has been marked by numerous attempts to define and explain the phenomenon, drawing on a wide range of intellectual and methodological traditions. Despite the lack of temporal and intellectual proximity, the works presented in this article have the merit of being innovative, while challenging established conventions of the field. Mayhew 2010 located deviance within cultures of poverty and provided rich accounts of class and exclusion in Victorian London. Bonger 1969 also placed crime in relation to deprivation but suggested that criminality was a result of the insecurities that resulted from the capital-labor relationship. Durkheim 1982 used the concept of anomie to describe transition in a society featuring weak moral guidelines, which left citizens free to deviate. Erikson 1966 followed Durkheim in emphasizing the functionality of deviance. Merton 1938 employed anomie to show that deviance was a routine way of upward mobility for people who wanted to live the American dream but whose normative aspirations were blocked. By focusing on the implications of labeling a person as deviant, Becker 1963 concluded that “deviance is not a quality of the act a person commits, but rather a consequence of the applications by others of rules and sanctions to an ‘offender.’ The deviant is one to whom that label has been successfully applied; deviant behavior is behavior that people so label” (p. 9). Building on Becker’s perspective, Matza 1969 discussed the implications of labeling, suggesting that involvement in deviancy can be summarized as a process involving affinity, affiliation, and signification. Box 1983 combined strain and conflict theories to show that inequality was reproduced by police practices that directed their attentions toward low-status members of society. Katz 1988 emphasized the allure or seduction of deviant behavior, whereas Foucault’s 1977 seminal work focuses on the social context of punishment, arguing that changes in power relations and culture have altered the nature of punishment.

  • Becker, Howard S. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: Free Press.

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    Becker discusses the profound implications that labeling a person as a deviant can have. According to his perspective, the individual’s engagement in a deviant career is followed by the integration of the label in a symbolic reorganization of self.

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    • Bonger, Willem A. 1969. Criminality and economic conditions. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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      Bonger employs an explicit Marxist perspective and places crime in the context of deprivation and inequality. The uncertainty of employment conditions encourages the egoism that is at the heart of capitalism, and Bonger’s analysis is also noteworthy for the attention paid to gender inequalities within the workplace. Originally published in 1916.

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      • Box, Steven. 1983. Power, crime, and mystification. London: Routledge.

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        A witty and incisive overview of the state deviance and market operatives. Box indicates how the law only criminalizes some behaviors, usually those committed by the relatively powerless, and excludes others, those frequently committed by the powerful against subordinates.

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        • Durkheim, Émile. 1982. The rules of sociological method. New York: Free Press.

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          Durkheim regarded crime as normal and functional, a vehicle for creating social progress, bringing about social change, or providing a warning device signaling when a part of the social system was malfunctioning. Consequently, a healthy society requires both crime and punishment in order to support the collective sentiments and values. Originally published in 1895.

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          • Erikson, Kai. 1966. Wayward Puritans: A study in the sociology of deviance. New York: Wiley.

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            Using his study of the Puritan settlement in 17th-century Massachusetts, Erikson’s Durkheimian study highlights deviance as a valuable societal resource that is necessary for the maintenance of a coherent social order.

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            • Foucault, Michel.1977. Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. New York: Vintage.

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              By focusing on historical documents, Foucault analyzes punishment in its social context and argues that the changes in power relations and culture have altered the nature of punishment. The ceremonial aspect of public executions before the 18th century morphed into the ritualistic discipline of the prison system, which aimed to coerce and reform the individual.

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              • Katz, Jack. 1988. Seductions of crime: Moral and sensual attractions in doing evil. New York: Basic Books.

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                Katz locates a sensual dynamic by which the individual becomes seduced into crime and stresses the sensual, emotional, and moral attractions that compel people into deviance. Importantly, Katz emphasizes the importance of deviants’ own understanding of their actions, rather than the imposition of a culturally alien criminal justice template.

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                • Matza, David. 1969. Becoming deviant. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                  Matza emphasizes the role of the subject in creating deviance, a process that is distinctly creative. This work should be read as a sometimes-neglected precursor to the influential work of Jack Katz, whose emphasis on the attractions, allures, and seductions of crime have also proved a valuable counter to the positivistic obsessions of administrative criminology.

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                  • Mayhew, Henry. 2010. London labour and the London poor: A selected edition. Edited by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                    In the mid-19th century, Henry Mayhew wrote eighty-two 10,000-word articles for the Morning Chronicle, describing the material conditions and life experiences of the poor, and located deviant behavior within these conditions. The unearthing of the costermongers’ (street vendors) culture should be seen as a forerunner of the appreciative work on deviant subcultural life that emerged a century later. Originally published 1861–1862.

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                    • Merton, Robert. 1938. Social structure and anomie. American Sociological Review 3.5:672–682.

                      DOI: 10.2307/2084686Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Merton proposed a typology of deviance based on the importance of an individual’s adherence to societal goals and the ability of the individual to use legitimate means to achieve them. Merton’s typology constructed five types of deviance: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion. This typology has been particularly influential on studies of youth deviance. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                      Textbooks

                      A number of excellent textbooks provide state-of-art maps of the field. The most profoundly sociological introduction is Downes and Rock 2011, which reviews the most important trends and influences in the area and is regularly updated. Best 2004 offers a brief and punchy introduction to the concept as a career. Goode 2010 considers the main ways in which positivism and constructionism have influenced the study of deviance and introduces up-to-date case studies at the end of each chapter. Similarly but more inclined toward constructionism, Henry 2009 is a well-written text about who becomes deviant and why. Carrabine, et al. 2009 retells the standard historical story while challenging the modern understanding of “criminal,” and Beirne and Messerschmidt 2010 pays much attention to feminist theories and nontraditional areas of inquiry, such as animal rights and abuse. Lilly, et al. 2007 provides an excellent traditional introduction to the subject that is suitable for beginners.

                      • Beirne, Piers, and James W. Messerschmidt. 2010. Criminology: A sociological approach. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                        This text retains a distinctly sociological orientation, and both classical and contemporary theories are addressed. It is particularly distinctive for the depth of its coverage of feminist theories and of innovative areas such as animal rights and abuse. The use of official statistics is somewhat anomalous but reflects the positivistic stance that dominates contemporary criminology in the United States. However, this remains an outstanding and well-written text.

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                        • Best, Joel. 2004. Deviance: Career of a concept. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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                          Best covers the history of the study of deviance, the emergence of anomie theory in the 1950s, the rise of labeling theory in the 1960s, and the variations in the field as it came under criticism for opposing theoretical perspectives.

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                          • Carrabine, Eammon, Pam Cox, Maggy Lee, et al. 2009. Criminology: A sociological introduction. 2d ed. London and New York: Routledge.

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                            A concise, engaging book that is very well written and skillfully pulls together theoretical thinking in an explicitly innovative fashion that stretches the boundaries of what we think of as “criminal” beyond the current orthodoxy. The authors have a clear stance regarding the sociological roots of contemporary criminology and engage comprehensively both with the “founding fathers” and with fresh fields of deviance such as environmental and transnational crime.

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                            • Downes, David, and Paul Rock. 2011. Understanding deviance. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                              The most profoundly sociological textbook on the market, Downes and Rock provides a thorough critique of the principal theories of crime, deviance, and lawbreaking. Originally published in 1982.

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                              • Goode, Erich. 2010. Deviant behavior. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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                                The author insists that the study of deviance is a separate subject area from criminology and discusses classical studies before embarking on a survey of deviant activities and concluding each chapter with a case study.

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                                • Henry, Stuart. 2009. Social deviance. Cambridge, MA: Polity.

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                                  A short and punchy introduction to the field of deviance. This very contemporary book retains the author’s commitment to addressing the ambiguities of deviant behavior.

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                                  • Lilly, J. Robert, Francis Cullen, and Richard Ball. 2007. Criminological theory: Context and consequences. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                    Although concerned with broader criminological theory, the authors’ coverage of classic studies is comprehensive, and their efforts to highlight the practical applications of influential theories are extremely useful. Originally published in 1989.

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                                    Chicago School

                                    The influence of the University of Chicago’s Department of Sociology is central to our understanding of deviance. Anderson 1923 detailed the social world of the itinerant mobile workforce that built much of the infrastructure in the United States and highlighted five types of homeless men, depicting a complex cultural universe that is integral to both the reality and myth of the United States. Cressey 1932 was also concerned with a social world, that of a commercial dance hall where women were employed as dance partners. Many studies to emerge from the Chicago School suggested that deviance was a feature of immigrant communities in the process of assimilation. This was achieved by stressing the evolution of street-corner cultures featuring community-specific, essentially functional attributes that are intrinsic to the local community. Whyte 1993 is also a study of social order and organization, successfully refuting social disorganization as a prime factor in producing deviance. In a study of equal importance to that of Whyte, Suttles 1968 detailed informal organizations whose primary function was to protect the “defended neighborhood” from intruders. Liebow 1967 embraces the complexity of individual lives and the normalization of deviance by focusing on “the street-corner man as breadwinner, father husband, lover and friend” (p. 12). Zorbaugh 1929 noted a city of rich diversity in which a wide range of deviant activity was integral to the lives and emergent cultures of newly arrived immigrants, whereas differential associations, as developed in Sutherland, et al. 1992, proposed that individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques, and motives of criminal action through interaction with others. Sutherland stated that deviant behavior was learned, along with other patterns of behavior, in interaction. Consequently, researchers working within the Chicago tradition studied deviance as a normal process, an essential part of everyday urban culture.

                                    • Anderson, Nels.1923. The hobo: The sociology of the homeless man. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                      This is a study of urban homeless men, based on sixty life histories, interviews, and several months of participant observation. The picture that emerges is a complex description of the social and economic problems of an itinerant workforce and their attempts at forging an informal social order built on the communal travails of temporary labor.

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                                      • Cressey, Paul. 1932. The taxi-dance hall. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                        The study was based on interviews with both the women who worked in the dance halls and their customers and provided vibrant descriptions of the environment. This remains an important text for the way in which it depicts the subtle normalization of sexual commodification within a political economy built on repression and exclusion.

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                                        • Liebow, Elliot. 1967. Tally’s corner. Boston: Little Brown.

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                                          Liebow argues that black men in urban America are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and racial prejudice that restricts their upward mobility and forces them into low-level, short-term employment. Deviance takes the form primarily of drinking and gambling, both of which are integral to local community life.

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                                          • Sutherland, Edwin, Donald Cressey, and David Luckenbill. 1992. Principles of criminology. 11th ed. New York: General Hall.

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                                            Sutherland et al’s notion of differential association is closely linked to social interactionism and focuses generally on how individuals learn criminal motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. It focuses specifically on processes of cultural transmission and construction, particularly in relation to peer influences among deviant youths. Originally published in 1934.

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                                            • Suttles, Gerald. 1968. The social order of the slum. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                              For Suttles, the slum has a particular moral order that supports values that vary from those of mainstream society. The slums’ insular character and its ethnic composition create an atmosphere of fear and distrust that leads to the creation of a street gang in the form of a network of personal acquaintances that augment those already in existence.

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                                              • Whyte, William. 1993. Street corner society: The social structure of an Italian slum. 4th ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                Whyte offers a rich description of street life in Boston while providing information about social differences between “big shots” and “little guys,” differentiating between “corner boys” and “college boys.” Whyte emphasizes a hierarchy of personal relations based on reciprocal obligations through an ethnography based on his relationship with “Doc,” his sponsor or gatekeeper to the world of “Cornerville.” Originally published in 1945.

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                                                • Zorbaugh, Harvey. 1929. The Gold Coast and the slum. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                  Zorbaugh’s description of Chicago in the 1920s portrays an urban setting in which rich and poor reside cheek by jowl, the latter living in neighborhoods where deviance features as an essential part of communal identities in the process of assimilation. Consequently, Zorbaugh describes it as a place where “the life of the slum is lived almost entirely without the conventional world” (p. 152).

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                                                  Interactionism

                                                  Becker 1953, in a study of marijuana use, indicated how deviance is a learned behavior, whereas Becker 1963 created a flagship for interactionism, which by the 1960s was competing with conventional criminology. Goffman 1963 is concerned with the world of the mental patient and focused on the production of conformist behavior, through “total institutions” (such as mental asylums, prisons, and military establishments). Goffman 1961, in a study of stigma, looked at the process by which individuals become stigmatized and the manner in which social reaction to stigma is experienced. In a study of the blind, Scott 1969 shows how control agencies and the attitudes and prejudices of wider society create processes of socialization that help explain how deviance is manufactured. The interactionist perspective and the more contemporary constructionist school focus attention on the way in which activity designated as deviant is created and the process by which, as Best 1990 shows, social problems are molded. The value of this perspective is highlighted by the warning by Kitsuse and Cicourel 1963 regarding the constructed nature of official statistics. This celebration of the underdog peaked with celebration of low-life by Polsky 1969, and a fine example of the constructed nature of transgressive behavior is found in the discussion in Sykes and Matza 1957 of deviant neutralization and denial.

                                                  • Becker, Howard. 1953. Becoming a marihuana user. American Journal of Sociology 59.3:235–242.

                                                    DOI: 10.1086/221326Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    This is one of the most influential articles in sociology, in which the author describes deviant activity as a learned behavior that is presented in terms of a three-stage learning process: learning the technique, learning to perceive the effects, and learning to enjoy the effects.

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                                                    • Becker, Howard. 1963. Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: Free Press.

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                                                      Probably the most influential rendition of labeling theory, Becker explains deviance as a concept based on the reactions and responses of others to the actions of an individual, and the resultant label is applied when others react by labeling that person as deviant. No specific act is inherently deviant until a powerful individual or social group labels it as such.

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                                                      • Best, Joel. 1990. Threatened children: Rhetoric and concern about child-victims. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                        Best analyzes how advocates make claims aimed at raising public anxiety and examines the role of the media in the cultural construction of social problems.

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                                                        • Goffman, Erving. 1961. Asylums: Essays on the social situation of mental patients and other inmates. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

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                                                          Goffman’s fieldwork involved working in a mental hospital and focused on the treatment of deviant behavior and the manufacture of a moral order. According to Goffman, inmates of the mental hospital were not mentally ill but were subjected to a form of institutionalization that required an adjustment to a new stage in their moral career.

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                                                          • Goffman, Erving. 1963. Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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                                                            Goffman considered the concept of social stigma, which acts as a negative stereotype leading to discriminatory behavior with the effect of “spoiling the identity” of the stigmatized. Goffman considers those who are unable to conform to normative expectations; they are then disqualified from full social acceptance and, consequently, develop counterstrategies in order to manage normal society.

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                                                            • Kitsuse, John, and Aaron Cicourel. 1963. A note on the uses of official statistics. Social Problems 11.2: 131–139.

                                                              DOI: 10.1525/sp.1963.11.2.03a00020Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This is a powerful warning to researchers that the products of law enforcement agencies should carry the warning, “The content of this file are the fruits of police activity.” This skeptical disclaimer is a fine example of the intellectually rigorous, self-consciously oppositional sociology of deviance. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                              • Polsky, Ned.1969. Hustlers, beats and others. Chicago: Aldine.

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                                                                This study consists of five freestanding essays. “The Hustler,” the most famous, describes the poolroom hustler, a profession rooted in the subcultural world of urban deviance. However, also of major importance is the essay on the morality and pragmatics of ethnographic work with deviants, in which Polsky dismisses traditional criminological endeavor and waves the flag for ethnographic research. See pp. 115–147.

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                                                                • Scott, Robert. 1969. The making of blind men: A study of adult socialization. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

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                                                                  Scott shows how blindness is a learned social role, adopting the methods of the sightless even though they may be partially sighted. This process takes place through social agencies that implement methods of social control; docility, dependency, and helplessness become integral to the socialization, or “making,” of blind men.

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                                                                  • Sykes, Gresham, and David Matza. 1957. Techniques of neutralization: A theory of delinquency. American Sociological Review 22.6: 664–670.

                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2089195Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    The authors started with the observation that deviants feel the moral obligation to obey the law but temporarily suspend this obligation through neutralization techniques. These involve the denial of responsibility, denial of injury, condemnation of the condemners, an appeal to higher loyalties, disbursement of blame, and the denial and dehumanization of the victim. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                    Radical Ambiguity

                                                                    During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the study of deviance was marked by dissatisfactions particularly with conventional criminology (Sumner 1994) and what was regarded as the limitations of interactionism (Taylor, et al. 1973, p. 107). The “new criminologists” criticized labeling theory for reducing the deviant to passive resistance (“a man on his back” rather than “a man fighting back”) (Gouldner 1975, p. 39) and argued that a Marxist approach would be more suitable for the study of deviance (Cohen 1971, Cohen 1974). Formed in 1968, the National Deviancy Conference was a loose-knit confederacy of radicals (Cohen 1974, p. 27; Sumner 1994, p. 262), which spawned a number of symposia, several edited collections, and one of the most influential criminology texts of the postwar era (Taylor, et al. 1973). The “New Criminologists” promoted ethnographic work as an alternative to the instrumental positivism typified by “mainstream criminology” (Cohen 1974, pp. 1–40). Although the underdog ethnographies of the interactionists were embraced (Cohen 1971, pp. 9–24), few ethnographic studies were forthcoming from this era (Archard 1979). Explicitly leftist explanations of crime were later revived under the banner of “Left Realism” (Lea and Young 1984, Kinsey, et al. 1986), which constituted clear attempts to engage with the political realities of crime, particularly at a local level. Consequently, researchers turned their attention to the criminogenic nature of capitalism and social control and were able to maintain an interest in both the creation and practice of deviant behavior beyond the strictures of criminal justice studies, while retaining an empirical edge through careful interactionist-influenced critiques of the system (Carlen 1976).

                                                                    • Archard, Peter. 1979. Vagrancy, alcoholism and social control. London: Macmillan.

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                                                                      Archard attended soup runs, magistrates’ courts, lodging houses, parks, and other venues frequented by alcoholics. He also interviewed professionals working with alcoholics and the alcoholics, but most importantly, he “went native” in order to describe the routine of drinking, begging, and buying a drink that constituted the world of the skid-row alcoholic.

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                                                                      • Carlen, Pat. 1976. Magistrates’ justice. London: Robertson.

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                                                                        Carlen analyzes the production of justice in magistrates’ courts by looking at how the main actors interact (court officials, police, lawyers, and laypersons). She sees the magistrates’ courts as institutions of social control, an absurd and surreal environment, in which everyone is engaged in impression management.

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                                                                        • Cohen, Stanley. 1974. Criminology and the sociology of deviance in Britain. In Deviance and social control. Edited by Paul Rock and Mary McIntosh, 1–40. London: Tavistock.

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                                                                          Looks at the history of criminology and sociology within the British context.

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                                                                          • Cohen, Stanley, ed. 1971. Introduction. In Images of deviance. Edited by Stanley Cohen, 9–24. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

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                                                                            Cohen argues for a more radical approach in the study of deviance, which implies shifting attention from the causes of deviance to the societal reaction to deviance. The whole book is a terrific evocation of the National Deviancy Conference era, its breadth, and imagination.

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                                                                            • Gouldner, Alvin. 1975. For sociology: Renewal and critique in sociology today. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

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                                                                              This book was important for its critique of the Chicago and interactionist sociologists who were “at home in the world of . . . drug addicts, jazz musicians, cab drivers, prostitutes, night people, drifters, grafters and skidders, the cool cats and their kicks” and set the tone for radical and critical criminology in both the United States and the United Kingdom. See pp. 39, 209.

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                                                                              • Kinsey, Richard, John Lea, and Jock Young. 1986. Losing the fight against crime. Oxford: Blackwell.

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                                                                                Based partly on the results of local victimization studies, the authors criticize British policing as inefficient and undemocratic. The authors advocate the democratization of the police and a better partnership with local communities to increase trust and facilitate dialogue regarding criminality.

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                                                                                • Lea, John, and Jock Young. 1984. What is to be done about law and order? London: Penguin.

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                                                                                  The authors acknowledge that crime disproportionately affects the working classes, and criticize law-and-order solutions that increase repression, while focusing on relative deprivation as crimes’ root cause. With Kinsey, et al. 1986, marked the shift among left-leaning scholars away from the sociology of deviance and toward the more politically formal study of crime and control.

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                                                                                  • Sumner, Colin. 1994. The sociology of deviance: An obituary. Buckingham, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                                                                                    Sumner claims that the sociology of deviance has failed and explores the history of the sociology of deviance, outlining the main stages in the development of the discipline, as well as its prejudices, faults, and failures. Sumner is particularly critical of interactionism, before proceeding to promote the notion of a sociology of censure.

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                                                                                    • Taylor, Ian, Paul Walton, and Jock Young. 1973. The new criminology. London: Routledge and K. Paul.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.4324/9780203405284Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      The authors look at the history of criminology only to conclude that there is a need for a new unified theoretical approach that would focus on Marxism and be informed by phenomenology and interactionism. Their “fully social” theory provided the framework for a project that would emphasize the structural arrangements within which deviant worlds are created.

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                                                                                      Women and Crime

                                                                                      Traditionally, the sociology of deviance had focused on male criminality and tended to neglect women as purposive deviant actors (Carlen 1988, Gelsthorpe 1990, Heidensohn 1996, Smart 1976). Women were regarded either as victims or in terms of “female crimes,” such as prostitution. The feminist project criticized the established intellectual conventions in the field of deviance and pointed out that these had a negative effect on policy and control. The feminist agenda, as proposed by Heidensohn 1996, was to include socialization, illegitimate opportunity structures, and differential social reactions as they related specifically to women. Subsequent research in this area showed that women—previously considered unworthy research subjects for deviance—were actually endowed with agency (Campbell 1984). However, societal reaction to female deviance highlighted double standards (Carlen 1988), leading to double punishment (for both rule breaking and role breaking) and stricter forms of social control (e.g., prisons with no vocational training) (Smart 1976). These accounts indicate that the emergence of deviant female identities is structured by class and ethnicity (Campbell 1984) but are complemented by stereotypical notions of being female (Miller 1986), which are threatened by female involvement in deviance normally associated with men. Scholars of female deviance have also acknowledged female involvement in illegal markets (Dunlap, et al. 1994, Hart 1998, Miller 1986) and in marginal occupations that carry with them the possibility of stigma (Colosi 2010).

                                                                                      • Campbell, Anne. 1984. The girls in the gang: A report from New York City. Oxford: Blackwell.

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                                                                                        Campbell simultaneously questions a number of female stereotypes, while identifying the control exerted over the girls by male gang members. Campbell concludes that the attractions of gang membership for young women should be understood in the context of the inevitable isolation, poverty, and welfare dependency of their futures.

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                                                                                        • Carlen, Pat. 1988. Women, crime and poverty. Milton Keynes, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                                                                                          Carlen analyzes types of criminal activities, women’s profiles, their experiences of residential care and the impact of traditional welfare, and justice systems in shaping female criminality. Carlen offers the valuable insight that female deviants can be rewarded by “a better standard of living, an outlet for energies and talents, and a network of non judgmental friends.” See pp. 106–110.

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                                                                                          • Colosi, Rachela. 2010. Dirty dancing? An ethnography of lap dancing. Abingdon, UK: Willan.

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                                                                                            This is an ethnographic account of lap dancing based on research conducted by the author who worked as a dancer. The book looks at the relationships established among dancers, management, and clients, as well as the tasks involved in the job and the ambiguous nature of “dirty dancing.”

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                                                                                            • Dunlap, Eloise, Bruce Johnson, and Ali Manwar. 1994. A successful female crack dealer: Case study of a deviant career. Deviant Behavior 15.1:1–25.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/01639625.1994.9967955Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              The focus is on an Afro-American middle-class woman involved in using and dealing crack. A college graduate, she established herself in a male-dominated market, catering to “hidden customers,” and conducting her business according to middle-class values and strategies. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                              • Gelsthorpe, Loraine. 1990. Feminist methodologies in criminology: A new approach or old wine in new bottles? In Feminist perspectives in criminology. Edited by Loraine Gelsthorpe and Allison Morris, pp. 89–106. Milton Keynes, UK: Open Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                Looks at the role of feminist methodologies in criminology emphasizing the need for sensitivity and commitment to make the research relevant to women and personal reflexivity.

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                                                                                                • Hart, Angie. 1998. Buying and selling power: Anthropological reflections on prostitution in Spain. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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                                                                                                  Examines the power relationships between clients and prostitutes, with a particular emphasis on gender inequalities, and challenges the stereotype of prostitutes as victims and clients as oppressors. Throughout the book, Hart includes her personal experiences from frequenting a barrio bar with the women and their clients.

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                                                                                                  • Heidensohn, Frances. 1996. Women and crime. 2d ed. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan.

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                                                                                                    The book examines female criminality and the social pressures that facilitate the women’s involvement in crime, as well as the social control exerted on them in various social contexts.

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                                                                                                    • Miller, Eleanor. 1986. Street woman. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      Miller’s ethnography argues that prostitute women conduct relatively orderly careers that are enabled by older women in the extended family who take responsibility for children. In turn, women prostitutes often return to the domestic realm to care for their grandchildren when it is their daughters’ turn to pick up the trade.

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                                                                                                      • Smart, Carol. 1976. Women, crime, and criminology: A feminist critique. London: Routledge and K. Paul.

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                                                                                                        This book triggered debates concerning male bias in criminology. Starting from the observation that there was little material on female deviance, Smart offers a thorough analysis of the classical and contemporary studies in female criminality, prostitution, rape, and sexual politics.

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                                                                                                        Youth

                                                                                                        As Geoffrey Pearson has so eloquently indicated, deviant youth are a perennial concern, and the allure of transgression is central to youthful existence (Pearson 1983). Cohen 1955 considered youth deviance as a form of cultural adaptation to failure, particularly failure at school. Similarly, Cloward and Ohlin 1960 explained gang membership as a resultant of status frustration, as a result not of failure in the education system, but as a result of failure to achieve monetary success. In the United Kingdom, most researchers refuted the thesis that juvenile delinquency mirrored the highly structured nature of the American gangs. Downes 1966 portrayed East London adolescents as dissociated from middle-class values and aspirations and who engaged in low-level disorganized delinquency as part of their leisure activities, whereas Parker 1974 also linked delinquency to the local job market and to the everyday realities of class society. Hall and Jefferson 2006 explained youth subcultures in terms of their reaction to the changes in class society and the subsequent tensions and contradictions that emerged as a result of changes taking place within working-class culture. McRobbie 1980 pointed out that most studies of youth deviancy were gender blind—in particular, the influential work of Willis 1977—and that female subcultures were also geared toward resisting the dominant order, whereas Young 1971 offered an example of deviance amplification in his groundbreaking study of drug takers.

                                                                                                        • Cloward, Richard, and Lloyd Ohlin. 1960. Delinquency and opportunity: A theory of delinquent gangs. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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                                                                                                          Cloward and Ohlin stressed blocked access to monetary success, identifying three forms of gang membership: criminal, in which the prime concern is crimes against property and where local opportunities exist for recruitment into adult criminal groups; conflict, which consists of fighting gangs; and retreatist, which involves drug taking and alienation, inspired by the youth’s double failure to succeed in either legitimate or illegitimate spheres.

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                                                                                                          • Cohen, Albert K. 1955. Delinquent boys: The culture of the gang. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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                                                                                                            Cohen regarded status frustration as providing the motive for youths forming subcultures, a solution for working-class youths who fail to attain the “American dream” because they are disadvantaged in a school system founded on middle-class values.

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                                                                                                            • Downes, David. 1966. The delinquent solution: A study in subcultural theory. London: Routledge and K. Paul.

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                                                                                                              Downes found that youths accepted the prospect of low occupational status and dissociated themselves from middle-class society by forming loose-knit “street-corner groups,” rather than the gangs of the American inner city. Within these groups, low-level deviance is played out in an attempt to try to recoup the freedom, achievement, autonomy, and excitement that are unavailable at work.

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                                                                                                              • Hall, Stuart, and Tony Jefferson, eds. 2006. Resistance through rituals: Youth subcultures in post-war Britain. 2d ed. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                Focuses on the manner in which subcultural forms emerged as methodologies of resistance. Postwar youth cultures are seen in terms of their relationship to the class structure and their subsequent actions as attempts to solve contradictions within the parent culture.

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                                                                                                                • McRobbie, Angela. 1980. Settling accounts with subcultures: A feminist critique. Screen Education 39:37–49.

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                                                                                                                  McRobbie highlights the method by which young working-class women construct an insubordinate antischool subculture that is as “magical” as the spectacular solutions of the masculine equivalent valorized by Hall and Jefferson 2006 and that are as crucial in preparing women for the realities of the labor market as are the lads’ pre–shop-floor collaborations in Willis 1977.

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                                                                                                                  • Parker, Howard. 1974. View from The Boys: A sociology of down-town adolescents. Newton Abbott, UK: David & Charles.

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                                                                                                                    With strong echoes of Downes’s seminal study, Parker’s work showed that “the boys’” involvement in deviance was a form of accommodation to their situation, not a form of resistance. Parker found that working-class youths took over traditional practices, behind which lie traditional values, suggesting that membership in working-class youth subcultures demonstrates an essential sense of continuity with the parent culture.

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                                                                                                                    • Pearson, Geoffrey. 1983. Hooligan: A history of respectable fears. London: Macmillan.

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                                                                                                                      A vital reminder of the fear and loathing that society has long held for its young. Pearson also warns the reader to beware of false memories of a golden era (usually twenty years earlier), when the young were subservient to their elders, society was safe, and respectable people could walk the streets unmolested by rampaging youths.

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                                                                                                                      • Willis, Paul. 1977. Learning to labor: How working class kids get working class jobs. Farnborough, UK: Saxon House.

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                                                                                                                        Willis argues that the state is culpable for creating forms of youthful resistance that are often functional to the requirements of capitalism—in particular, the reinforcement of a traditional form of masculinity that makes the transformation from the world of school to the world of work relatively seamless.

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                                                                                                                        • Young, Jock. 1971. The drugtakers: The social meaning of drug use. London: Paladin.

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                                                                                                                          Young’s study utilizes a biographically informed ethnographic approach and focuses on the impact of societal reaction on drug users. Young attacked the preconceptions of control agents and questioned the authority and validity of dominant moralities, pointing out their role in the construction of deviant stereotypes.

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                                                                                                                          American Gangs

                                                                                                                          Thrasher 1927 explained gang activity as a consequence of the disorganization of immigrant communities within Chicago’s “poverty belt.” Gang members are usually located within the urban underclass (Hagedorn 1997) and subjected to “multiple marginalities” (Vigil 1988). Consequently, they become entrapped in a deviant career, in which violence is a by-product of mundane activities. Confronted with structural constraints, which limit their access to legitimate means of achieving financial success, the gang members fashion their own ways of upward mobility. Their entrepreneurial skills are honed in the drug market (Taylor 1990, Hagedorn 1997). Their endeavors are increasingly rational (Sánchez-Jankowski 1991) and reinforced by the mass incarceration of minority populations (Moore, et al. 1978).

                                                                                                                          • Hagedorn, John. 1997. People and folks: Gang, crime, and the underclass in a rustbelt city. 2d ed. Chicago: Lake View.

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                                                                                                                            Hagedorn explores the impact of deindustrialization, poverty, the erosion of mainstream presumptions of upward mobility, and the shift from the formal to the informal economy. The latter enables the gang to constitute one of the few traditional working-class strategies with the potential to adapt to the market and so explains the gangs’ engagement with drug markets.

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                                                                                                                            • Moore, Joan, Robert Garcia, et al. 1978. Homeboys: Gangs, drugs, and prison in the barrios of Los Angeles. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                              Moore, et al. stressed the way in which, excluded from the mainstream of economic life, informal Chicano culture is supported by prison gang culture. Moore, et al. also emphasized the role of the broader political economy in changing the function of the gang, making it a form of alternative neighborhood government in the absence of legitimate institutions.

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                                                                                                                              • Sánchez-Jankowski, Martín. 1991. Islands in the street: Gangs and American urban society. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

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                                                                                                                                The author presents the gang as a highly structured entity, whose members are entrepreneurially driven, well disciplined, and socially competent in maintaining close ties with other gangs, the wider community, and politicians. In turn, the gang generates goals that supersede those of its members, and construct identities around a form of “local patriotism” (p. 99).

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                                                                                                                                • Taylor, Carl. 1990. Dangerous society. East Lansing: Michigan State Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                  Taylor suggests that gang members are entrepreneurs who want to achieve material success and join the gang because it offers status and protection, friendships, and adventure.

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                                                                                                                                  • Thrasher, Frederic. 1927. The gang: A study of 1,313 gangs in Chicago. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                    Thrasher describes the historical context in which the gangs appeared, explores various aspects of life as a gang member, and looks at the social organization of the gang and the impact of the gangs’ criminal activity on the community. Thrasher situated gang activity within delinquency areas, which are typified by social disorganization.

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                                                                                                                                    • Vigil, James. 1988. Barrio gangs: Street life and identity in Southern California. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                                                                                      Vigil suggested that barrio residents were subjected to “multiple marginality,” which made them less able to integrate into mainstream society, with few opportunities for upward mobility. For this youthful population facing intergenerational cultural clashes, gangs emerged as viable alternatives.

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                                                                                                                                      Presence in the Adult World

                                                                                                                                      Much of the effort expended by researchers investigating deviance is concentrated on youth. However, studies of the adult deviant are no less rewarding, or problematic, to study. Irwin and Cressey 1962 looked at the importance of a strong deviant identity as an element in adaptability to incarceration. Adle 1993’s study of drug dealing is important for questioning one-dimensional stereotypes of deviant activity and portrays drug dealers as successful entrepreneurs who are also involved in hedonistic behavior. Heyl 1979’s analysis of a career in prostitution shows the difficulties involved in managing an illegal “service business,” and Klockars 1974’s study of a receiver of stolen goods presented the “fence” as a rational agent whose activities were closely related to those of his legal counterpart. Moving away from acquisitive deviance, Thompson 1966 and Wolf 1991 described biker culture, Humphreys 1975’s notorious ethnography focuses on anonymous homosexual encounters in public restrooms, and Fielding 1981 explores an extreme-right political group.

                                                                                                                                      • Adler, Patricia. 1993. Wheeling and dealing: An ethnography of an upper-level drug dealing and smuggling community. 2d ed. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                        This study offers insight into upper-level drug dealing and shows that, despite the common perception, the networks involved in this activity are disorganized, with a high level of turnover. Adler identifies legitimate society’s repression of pleasure seeking through the bland routines of everyday life as providing the context for individuals to engage with upper-level dealing and smuggling.

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                                                                                                                                        • Fielding, Nigel. 1981. The National Front. London: Routledge and K. Paul.

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                                                                                                                                          Fielding’s discussion of an extreme-right political group explains the social and cultural setting in which the National Front members pursued their goals. Fielding takes care to consider the sociohistorical aspects of the evolution of British right-wing ideology, which provides the context for the moral careers of National Front members.

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                                                                                                                                          • Heyl, Barbara S. 1979. The madam as entrepreneur: Career management in house prostitution. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                                            Considers entrepreneurship in relation to prostitution, explores the role of madams as providing training for the novices to become professional prostitutes, and discusses the maintenance of a deviant enterprise.

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                                                                                                                                            • Humphreys, Laud. 1975. Tearoom trade: Impersonal sex in public places. Chicago: Aldine.

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                                                                                                                                              This widely cited study offers a glimpse into the world of homosexual encounters in public restrooms. Humphreys made a few unusual ethical choices that caused outrage among some sectors of the academic community. The results indicated that most of the men in Humphreys’s sample were married and did not consider themselves as homosexuals. Originally published in 1970.

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                                                                                                                                              • Irwin, John, and Donald R. Cressey. 1962. Thieves, convicts and the inmate culture. Social Problems 10.2:142–155.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1525/sp.1962.10.2.03a00040Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                The authors make a distinction between “prison culture” and “criminal subculture,” arguing that it is not the environment of the prison that alters the behavior of the convicts but the values that they adhered to in the “free world.” Deviant identity is an important component to an individual’s adaptation to incarceration. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                • Klockars, Carl B. 1974. The professional fence. London: Tavistock.

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                                                                                                                                                  Klockars frames the practice of dealing in stolen goods within its historical context and observes “Vincent” at home and at work. The result is a study of a deviant enterprise that closely resembles legitimate business where “everybody’s looking for a bargain . . . 9 out of 10 people got larceny. Maybe even 99 out of 100 . . . . If the price is right and a man can use the merchandise, he’s gonna buy. No question about it” (p. 62).

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                                                                                                                                                  • Thompson, Hunter. 1966. Hell’s Angels: The strange and terrible saga of the outlaw motorcycle gangs. New York: Ballantine.

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                                                                                                                                                    Thompson looks at a motorcycle gang within a historical and social context. Thompson, who inspired considerable criticism from feminists in particular for his description of violent sexism, presents a study of a profoundly deviant subculture, deviancy amplification, and the creation of a moral panic. As such, the book is as much an exploration of mainstream society as it is of deviance.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Wolf, Daniel R. 1991. The Rebels: A brotherhood of outlaw bikers. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

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                                                                                                                                                      Wolf’s ethnography involved total immersion in biker culture and is a brave and classically appreciative study of a deviant subculture. Wolf stresses the camaraderie of membership of a motorcycle club and the attractions of communal deviant status.

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                                                                                                                                                      Deviant Work, Everyday Deviance

                                                                                                                                                      The sociology of deviance offers scholars the opportunity to step away from the strictures of criminal justice–oriented studies, and this section will look at deviance at work and deviance in everyday life. Ditton 1977 and Henry 1978 used the concept of “occupational deviance,” which is embedded in efforts to manipulate the strictures of work (Roy 1959), supplement earnings, and acquire some autonomy within repressive work settings. Ferrell 2006’s explorations into urban scrounging suggest that genuine alternatives to mainstream cultures can emerge from deviant action, whereas Hobbs 1988’s ethnography showed that detectives and the working classes in East London are intertwined in the same entrepreneurial culture, sharing an informal everyday deviant identity. Douglas, et al. 1977 provides an account of how deviant action can become structured, generating its own distinct notions of normality and transgression, whereas Venkatesh 2006 emphasizes the manner in which the illegal economy has become normalized, forming the backbone of modern ghetto existence.

                                                                                                                                                      • Ditton, Jason. 1977. Part-time crime: An ethnography of fiddling and pilferage. London: Macmillan.

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                                                                                                                                                        Ditton worked in a bakery, and his ethnography develops the concept of petty theft in terms of a moral career that does not require the adoption of a deviant identity. Furthermore, the management of the bakery was complicit in the fiddling subculture—in particular, through the integration of losses into the company’s commercial structure.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Douglas, Jack, Paul Rasmussen, and Carol Ann Flanagan. 1977. The nude beach. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                          The authors take a deviant activity—nudism—and examine in detail how it becomes informally organized and develops rules and norms, as well as its own perceptions of deviation such as voyeurism.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Ferrell, Jeff. 2006. Empire of scrounge: Inside the urban underground of dumpster diving, trash picking, and street scavenging. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                            Ferrell’s account of scavenging and “dumpster diving” identifies a form of antimaterialist transgression that retains the noncriminological sociological edge espoused by the sociologists of deviance. It also locates deviant activity in everyday life rather in quasilegal discourse.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Henry, Stuart. 1978. The hidden economy: The context and control of borderline crime. London: Robertson.

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                                                                                                                                                              Henry refers to pilferage, fiddling, and the incorporation of deviant activity into everyday experience. For Henry, the main feature of the hidden economy is not monetary gain, but social solidarity. In terms of control, he suggests self-regulation, employing examples from Southeast Europe and Asia.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Hobbs, Dick. 1988. Doing the business: Entrepreneurship, the working class, and detectives in the East End of London. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                This ethnography emphasizes the means by which patterns of immigration and the socioeconomic conditions inherited by the denizens of East London created a working-class culture that was largely unaffected by the impacts of industrialism. Small-scale trading and casual work, in particular, created a culture that was distinctly entrepreneurial. This entrepreneurial culture is also common to East End detectives who share with East Enders an informal deviant identity.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Roy, Donald F. 1959. “Banana Time”: Job satisfaction and informal interaction. Human Organization 18.4:158–168.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The article explores the social interactions within a small working group in a factory, describing a series of different “times” that triggered informal short breaks. “Banana time” was a point each morning when a banana would be stolen from one worker’s lunch box, and a brief interplay would follow that served to temporarily relieve the monotony and tedium. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Venkatesh, Sudhir. 2006. Off the books: The underground economy of the urban poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This ethnography of the urban poor focuses on how unregulated, unreported, and untaxed work forms the backbone of a modern ghetto economy where poverty and exclusion are entrenched.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Serious Crime

                                                                                                                                                                    Although the classic work of Sutherland 1937 claimed the existence of a form of criminal activity based on a distinct behavior system, Chambliss 1988, in his case study of Seattle, suggests that businessmen, politicians, and the police are part of the elite who benefit from deviant activity that is embedded into the urban fabric. Ianni 1972 gained access to the “Lupollo” crime family and concentrates not on the deviant activities of the family, but on the “codes and rules by which members of the Lupollo family organize their universe and behavior” (p. 188). However, Block 1991’s study of the “serious crime community” is populated not only by organized and professional criminals, but also with enablers such as accountants and bankers (Mack and Kerner 1975; see also Cromwell, et al. 1991). Matthews 2002’s study of armed robbery indicates the decline of a once highly professional elite, and Wright and Decker 1997 portrays a rather more unstructured set of accounts based on street culture. Hobbs 1995 argues that professional crime has changed over time, reflecting the shifts in the legitimate sector. Meanwhile Shover 1985 offers a unique analysis of aging and desisting from deviant careers. This section includes a subsection on Drugs.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Block, Alan, ed. 1991. The business of crime: A documentary study of organized crime in the American economy. Boulder, CO: Westview.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Based on judicial findings and legislative reports, the first part of this book focuses on loan-sharking and labor-racketeering activities. The second part focuses on industries that are dominated by organized-crime groups. The third part focuses on public policies designed to control organized-crime activities.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Chambliss, William. 1988. On the take: From petty crooks to Presidents. 2d ed. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Chambliss looked at the links between organized crime and legitimate political elites, concluding that those involved in the crime network in Seattle were simply acting within both the logic and the values of America’s political economy in order to “maximize profits, to protect their investments from competition, to expand markets, and to provide services and goods demanded by ‘the people’” (p. 188).

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Cromwell, Paul, James Olson, and D’Unn Avary. 1991. Breaking and entering: An ethnographic analysis of burglary. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Cromwell, et al. looks at the decision-making process involved in burglary. A number of variables (number of people involved, influence of drug abuse, etc.) contribute to the risk assessment of the burglary and the fencing of stolen goods.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Hobbs, Dick. 1995. Bad business: Professional crime in modern Britain. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                            This ethnography, organized around case studies of British professional criminals, argues that professional criminal activity reflects the changes in the contemporary entrepreneurial culture and emphasizes the context of postindustrialism in shaping deviant trading networks.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Ianni, Francis. 1972. A family business: Kinship and social control in organized crime. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Ianni studied organized crime as a social system concentrating on the “codes and rules by which members of the Lupollo family organize their universe and behavior” (p. 188). As a result, he was able to refute many law enforcement–generated myths and clichés concerning organized crime.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Mack, John, and Hans-Jürgen Kerner. 1975. The crime industry. Farnborough, UK: Saxon House.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Mack and Kerner identified the “background operators,” such as lawyers, accountants, and members of the “business community,” who combine to create a fragmented, loose-knit, and competitive network of individuals and flexible deviant collaborations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Matthews, Roger. 2002. Armed robbery. Cullompton, UK: Willan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a tightly written book about the rise and decline of armed robbery. It is especially effective in documenting the three-way relationship among robbers, the security industry, and the police.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Shover, Neal. 1985. Aging criminals. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Shover looks at the relation between age and crime, noting that with age, men turn away from crime because of a change in perception regarding the risks and potential gains. He also looks at the consequences of being an ex-con and concludes, contrary to labeling theory, that stigma is eroded with time and the capacity to stay out of trouble.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sutherland, Edwin. 1937. The professional thief. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      This monograph, written jointly with “Chic Conwell,” a professional thief, is not only a rich account of a criminal career but also a milestone in criminological thinking. Sutherland suggests a behavior system that featured characteristics of technical skill, consensus through a shared ideology, differential association, status, and, most importantly, informal organization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wright, Richard, and Scott Decker. 1997. Armed robbers in action: Stick-ups and street culture. Boston: Northeastern Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        The authors look at armed (street) robbery from the offender’s perspective and offer detailed insights into the selection of the target, the various tactics used in a hold-up, and the motives leading to the decision to commit robbery.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Drugs

                                                                                                                                                                                        Adler and Adler 1983 presents a rare study of the drug market when it is removed from “the street,” and Dorn, et al. 1992 offers an equally rare overview of the British drug market. Preble and Casey 1969 and Agar 1973 are concerned with the subculture of addicted communities, both suggesting a counterintuitive cultural vibrancy within a market that is attractive to youth. Williams 1989 features the most primary patterns of exchange.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Adler, Patricia A., and Peter Adler. 1983. Shifts and oscillations in deviant careers: The case of upper-level drug dealers and smugglers. Social Problems 31.2:195–207.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1525/sp.1983.31.2.03a00080Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          This study of upper-level drug echelons in the United States focuses on the smugglers’ career paths. It provides an extensive discussion of what it means to leave deviance and shows that the upper-level drug trafficker’s retirement is often temporary due to a failure to adjust to the legitimate business sector. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Agar, Michael. 1973. Ripping and running: A formal ethnography of urban heroin addicts. New York: Seminar.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            This study of heroin addicts focuses mainly on their daily routine, which revolves around drug procurement and finding a safe place to use the drug. It offers an excellent account of what it means to be a drug user from the addict’s own perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Bourgois, Phillipe. 1995. In search of respect. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Bourgois stresses the normalization of the crack trade in the context of economic, as opposed to moral, depravity in a location where individualism and pecuniary advantage reign over communal priorities. In addition, this study provides a link between gang studies and those concerned with organized crime.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bourgois, Phillipe, and Eloise Dunlap. 1992. Exorcising sex-for-crack: An ethnographic perspective from Harlem. In Crack pipe as pimp: An eight-city ethnographic study of the sex for crack phenomenon. Edited by Mitchell Ratner, 97–132. New York: Lexington.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                This paper reveals the basic patterns in which sex is exchanged for crack or for money to buy crack. The exchanges are infrequent and occur in the broader context of prostitution, albeit featuring particularly vulnerable participants.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Dorn, Nicholas, Karim Murji, and Nigel South. 1992. Traffickers: Drug markets and law enforcement. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  Starting from the observation that drug trafficking is not dominated by organized-crime groups, the authors offer a comprehensive view of the drug market, taking into account not only the dealers but also the enforcement agencies’ response.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Preble, Edward, and John Casey. 1969. Taking care of business: The heroin user’s life on the street. International Journal of the Addictions 4:1–24.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    This study of heroin users living in New York City involved observational work supplemented by 200 life history interviews and revealed a vibrant lifestyle that had the quest for heroin at the core of an existence that would otherwise be dominated by grinding poverty.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Williams, Terry. 1989. The cocaine kids: The inside story of a teenage drug ring. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Williams vividly depicts the lives of eight young cocaine dealers from New York who, in the absence of legal ways to acquire upward mobility, took advantage of the panoply of illegal opportunities. Despite their youth, the protagonists have a sophisticated knowledge concerning the chain of distribution, marketing, and risk assessment in relation to law enforcement.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Powerful

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In an effort to counter the tendency to link deviance purely with the activities of the working class, this section looks at various types of equally normative, and often systemic, deviance committed by the powerful, including Business and Corporate Deviance and White-Collar Crime. The section concludes with some material relating deviance to The Subprime Era and the crisis in global financial markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Business and Corporate Deviance

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This section focuses on a wide range of illegal activities that are central to corporate practice (Punch 1996). As Braithwaite 1983 showed in his research on the pharmaceutical industry, crimes against the natural environment (Beirne and South 2007) highlight the indifference and impotence of the state and the power of global capital (Pearce and Tombs 1998). Other types of corporate deviance are linked to employment relationships and highlight a paucity of official statistics (Snider 2000) that render corporate crime invisible and not culpable (Tombs 1999). The high status of the offender, the criminogenic nature of the corporation (Box 1983), and the institutional and ideological bias of law enforcement agencies ultimately contribute to the disguised nature of corporate deviance and explain why the deviance of businesses and corporations tends to be removed from dominant narratives of “crime, law, and order” (Slapper and Tombs 1999). However, corporate deviance is not an anomaly, but rather it is integral to routine business activity (Slapper and Tombs 1999), albeit with higher costs than “normal crime” and with multiple levels of victimization (Vaughan 1980).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Beirne, Piers, and Nigel South, eds. 2007. Issues in green criminology: Confronting harms against environments, humanity and other animals. Cullompton, UK: Willan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        This collection of papers offers a view of deviance that stresses environmental crime and the way in which governments, corporations, and the military as well as citizens damage environments, animals, and humans. The authors’ “harm-based” discourse goes beyond mere lawbreaking and covers the manner in which environmental deviance is an everyday practice.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Box, Steven. 1983. Power, crime, and mystification. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Box shows that the most serious crimes are committed by powerful individuals in positions of privilege, and whose deviance is neglected or ignored by institutions of social control. Box argues that government policies and practices should shift their focus from the deviance of powerless actors to controlling the damages caused by the powerful.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Braithwaite, John. 1983. Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry. London: Routledge and K. Paul.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            This study of corporate malpractice uses a wide range of data collection in order to discuss corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Pearce, Frank, and Steve Tombs. 1998. Toxic capitalism: Corporate crime and the chemical industry. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate/Dartmouth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This influential book focuses on the largely unacknowledged social impacts of the chemical industry, specifically the 1984 disaster at Union Carbide’s Bhopal pesticide plant, which are manifested in environmental damage and poor health of workers, including thousands of deaths, injuries, birth defects, and other harms over four decades. The authors interpret the corporate malpractice that caused disaster as a problem of law and order and advocate a shift in academic interest from street offenders to more damaging corporate deviance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Punch, Maurice. 1996. Dirty business: Exploring corporate misconduct: Analysis and cases. London: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Punch looks at organizational deviance and crime in the upper echelons of business organizations by drawing on secondary data of well-known scandals. Punch argues that contemporary economic and technological changes have impacted on corporations, making the business more powerful and thus increasing the opportunities for corporate crime.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Slapper, Gary, and Steve Tombs. 1999. Corporate crime. Harlow, UK: Longman.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The authors examine definitional debates, review the literature, and map the scale of corporate crime. They proceed to examine why corporate crime has remained largely invisible, as well as the state’s inadequate response.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Snider, Laureen. 2000. The sociology of corporate crime: An obituary (or: whose knowledge claims have legs?). Theoretical Criminology 4.2: 169–206.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/1362480600004002003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This article argues that the disappearance of state regulations regarding corporate crime was facilitated by a propensity to legitimize neoliberal discourse. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tombs, Steve. 1999. Death and work in Britain. The Sociological Review 47.2: 345–367.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/1467-954X.00176Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This paper questions the reliability and validity of official statistics by focusing on fatal occupational injuries in Britain in 1996 and 1997. It shows consistent biases in recording practices and argues that the legally constituted categories of data collection along with particular social processes lead to underreporting. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Vaughan, Diane. 1980. Crime between organizations: Implications for victimology. In White-collar crime: Theory and research. Vol. 13, Sage Criminal Justice System Annuals. Edited by Gilbert Geis and Ezra Stotland, 77–97. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The author argues that the traditional victimology approach needs to be revised in order to account for crime between organizations. Vaughan pleads for a macrolevel framework to understand organizations as victims, given the complex nature of the actors involved and the multiple levels of victimization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        White-Collar Crime

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The possibility that the criminological orthodoxy of stressing the crimes of the lower orders may be a gross misrepresentation of societal deviance is one of the most important achievements of scholars of white-collar crime. White-collar crime can take the researcher closer to the ambiguous heart of business and away from the urban ghettoes that are the foci of most researchers’ endeavors. Sutherland 1949 introduced the concept of white-collar crime to denote “a person of respectability and high social status” who commits crime “in the course of his occupation.” Regardless of any definitional ambiguities (Geis 1968), Sutherland 1949’s account opened up an entire strand of sociological and criminological inquiry. In his study of embezzlement, Cressey 1953 sought to explain why some individuals in positions of financial trust violate that confidence, whereas Clinard 1952 introduced the concept of “occupational crime” to describe violations of price and rationing regulations during the Second World War, indicating that regulatory regimes in particular are vulnerable when there is a possibility of profit. In studying prescription violations by retail pharmacists, Quinney 1963 noticed the tension between the professional and occupational roles, and Levi 1987’s analysis revealed the complexity of fraud and the lack of prosecutions of establishment figures with “insider” status. White-collar crime is by no means a new phenomenon: Sindall 1990 analyzed 19th-century middle-class crime, concluding that its magnitude was larger than the working-class crime of the time, a view confirmed by Robb 1992 who indicated that white-collar crime was the “soft underbelly of the modern British economy” (p. 181).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Clinard, Marshall B. 1952. The black market: A study of white collar crime. New York: Rinehart.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Clinard studied the wartime “black market” from within the Office of Price Administration, and his study of regulation, primarily utilizing official documents, established that violations were carried out principally by businessmen and were sufficiently widespread to threaten the war effort.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cressey, Donald R. 1953. Other people’s money: A study in the social psychology of embezzlement. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cressey carried out interviews with convicted embezzlers for his study of the criminal violation of financial trust. He discovered that “trusted persons” became embezzlers when they possessed a combination of a nonshareable financial problem, the necessary knowledge to carry out the fraud, and a stock of suitable rationalizations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Geis, Gilbert. 1968. White-collar criminal: The offender in business and the professions. New York: Atherton.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A collection of essays looking at definitional ambiguities, commercial and professional white-collar crime, victims of white-collar crime, and legal processes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Levi, Michael. 1987. Regulating fraud: White-collar crime and the criminal process. London: Tavistock.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This comprehensive analysis of fraud focuses on its nature, dimensions, spread, and modes of punishment. The author discusses definitional ambiguities and other methodological difficulties that might be encountered when researching this phenomenon. The research is based on an intensive study of court records; interviews with businessmen, police, prosecutors, and defense personnel; and judges. Levi also observed four trials and interviewed fraudsters both in and out of prison.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Quinney Earl R., 1963. Occupational structure and criminal behavior: Prescription violation by retail pharmacists. Social Problems 11.22: 179–185.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1525/sp.1963.11.2.03a00060Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Quinney’s study of fraud among retail pharmacists used interviews with offenders and nonoffenders and concluded that the professionalism of pharmacists led to the introduction of controls that acted as a constraint against deviance, whereas more business-oriented persons were not affected by such constraints. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Robb, George. 1992. White-collar crime in modern England: Financial fraud and business morality, 1845–1929. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511522789Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The focus of this study was British white-collar crime from 1845 to 1929. Robb indicates that the phenomenon was “the soft underbelly of the modern British economy” (p. 181) and that laissez-faire economics contrived the same structural and ideological factors that created both legitimate and illegitimate wealth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sindall, Rob. 1990. Street violence in the nineteenth century: Media panic or real danger? Leicester, UK: Leicester Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is a provocative study of 19th-century middle-class crime suggesting that the 19th-century middle classes were more criminal than their working-class counterparts. The tantalizing possibility that the criminological orthodoxy of stress induced deviance may be somewhat simplistic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sutherland, Edwin. 1949. White collar crime. New York: Dryden.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the most cited works in sociology, this book puts forward the thesis that people at the highest levels do commit crimes, but theirs are less visible and less punished. It is a radical breach from the theories that established a correlation between poverty and crime.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Subprime Era

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This section covers deviance and the subprime era, which was triggered in the fall of 2008, marking the normalization of economic transgression and the embeddedness of deviance in the everyday operation of global finance (Blackburn 2008). Nguyen and Pontell 2010 shows how white-collar crime impacted on the last global financial crisis. Although the current crisis has had worldwide implications, poor and minority populations have particularly suffered (Nguyen and Pontell 2011, Patterson and Koller 2011).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Blackburn, R. 2008. The sub-prime crisis. New Left Review 50 (March–April).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Blackburn offers a timely critical analysis of the subprime crisis and its global implications. This is an important article for criminologists as the ambiguity of legal categories such as fraud or white-collar crime are placed in the context of the everyday practices of financial markets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Nguyen, Tomson, and Henry Pontell. 2010. Mortgage origination fraud and the global economic crisis: A criminological analysis. Criminology & Public Policy. Special Issue: The Global Economy, Economic Crisis, and White-Collar Crime 9.3:591–612.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The authors highlight the role of white-collar crime in understanding the global financial crisis by analyzing the responses of employees of the subprime lending industry, focusing on their rationalizations, and providing detailed analysis of mortgage frauds that resulted from inadequate regulation and the industry’s lack of accountability. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Nguyen, Tomson, and Henry Pontell. 2011. Fraud and inequality in the subprime mortgage crisis. In Economic crisis and crime. Vol. 16, Sociology of crime law and deviance. Edited by Mathieu Deflem, 3–24. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The authors analyze how the deregulation of financial markets contributed to increased fraud by lenders, which disproportionately impacted on minority populations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Patterson, Laura A., and Cynthia A. Koller. 2011. Diffusion of fraud through subprime lending: The perfect storm. In Economic crisis and crime. Vol. 16, Sociology of crime law and deviance. Edited by Mathieu Deflem, 25–46. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Patterson and Koller show how business practices associated with housing led to the creation of a criminogenic environment with homebuyers emerging as its victims.

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