Description - The Politics of Deviance by Anne Hendershott
Until the 1960s, sociologists had asserted that a willingness to identify deviance, or what constitutes appropriate behaviour, was indispensable to the process of generating and sustaining cultural values, clarifying moral boundaries, and promoting social solidarity. Yet today, after three decades of lacerating debate, shifts in values and social relations, and questioning social authority, the subject has virtually disappeared from sociology's radar screen. Deviance, in the famous phrase of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been 'dumbed down'. In 'The Politics of Deviance', Anne Hendershott, a leading sociologist herself, tries to understand how this major change in the way we see our world occurred. How did we adopt such different views of human nature and personal responsibility? How did we 'medicalise' what was once proscribed behaviour? While in the past there was a moral consensus that conditioned our attitudes toward teenage sex, suicide, substance abuse, and other questionable behaviours, Hendershott points out that today it is pressure groups that define and redefine deviance.
("As I write these words," she says at one point in the narrative, "the advocacy of the North American Man-Boy Love Association is invisibly changing the way we see paedophilia.") As they succeed in redefining our attitudes toward their 'clients', these groups significantly altered our view of each other and of our world.
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(202mm x 140mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Encounter Books,USA
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