Cover image for The politics of deviance
The politics of deviance
Hendershott, Anne B.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Encounter Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
194 pages ; 24 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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Material Type
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HM811 .H46 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Arguing against the grain of her own discipline, Anne Hendershott asserts the value and strength of the most important of all determinants of behavior--social norms and the commitment to accept them. The Politics of Deviance maintains that definitions of deviance that rely upon reason, and not emotion or political advocacy, are indispensable to the process of generating and sustaining cultural values and reaffirming the moral ties that bind us together.

Author Notes

Anne Hendershott is a Professor of Sociology at the University of San Diego and lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and children.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In The Politics of Deviance, Anne Hendershott (Moving for Work), a sociologist at the University of San Diego, laments the death of deviance as a concept within sociology, along with a consequent "destigmatizing [of] deviant behaviors" within the real social world. In chapters like "Medicalizing the Deviance of Drug Abuse," "Expanding the Market for Mental Illness" and "Postmodern Pedophilia," Hendershott details a process whereby, in her view, "all behaviors are created equal" within the culture, and a market model of what is desirable in a society (i.e., that a kind of manufactured demand for rebellion drives permissiveness) rules to society's detriment. An indictment of what Hendershott feels has taken place within her field over the last 30 years, this book, published by a California think tank, attempts nothing less than a rearticulation of social conservatism. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Hendershott (Univ. of San Diego) attempts to reestablish deviance theory as a legitimate theoretical perspective for sociological inquiry. She notes that deviance theory is a dynamic rather than static theory, which fell into disfavor when it became labeled as politically incorrect and its supporters labeled as deviant. The author suggests that theories are neither politically correct nor incorrect; they are either effective or ineffective as tools for explaining the set of phenomena under investigation. She supports her contention by examining the changing status of sets of behaviors previously labeled as deviant, arguing that the definers of deviancy have changed; advocacy groups are ascendant and traditional power groups are less influential as arbiters of the political correctness (deviancy) of sets of behaviors. The book is well written with clearly stated positions and arguments and a good index and references. Recommended for libraries serving departments of sociology, social work, criminology, or criminal justice. R. T. Sigler University of Alabama

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 Medicalizing the Deviance of Drug Abusep. 12
2 Removing the Stigma from Mental Illnessp. 31
3 Expanding the Market for Mental Illnessp. 47
4 Moral Panics and the Social Construction of Deviancep. 64
5 Postmodern Pedophiliap. 82
6 Stigma and Sexual Orientationp. 93
7 Celebrating the Sexually Adventurous Adolescentp. 109
8 Rape, Real and Imaginedp. 122
9 A Death of One's Ownp. 135
10 The Language of Deviancep. 153
Acknowledgmentsp. 164
Notesp. 165
Indexp. 185