Soc14 Section a deviant behavior and social control course syllabus

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SOC14 Section A



OFFICE LOCATION: 31 S. Prospect St. (=BENEDICT House)
OFFICE HOURS: 11:45 - 01:00 Mon, Wed; Fri: by appointment only, scheduled through

OFFICE PHONE: 656-4197

COURSE WEB PAGE: Blackboard:

CLASS HOURS: 09:35 - 10:25 Mon, Wed, Fri LOCATION: FLEMING 101

CLASS CRN: 10627

This course is a course in sociology (a “science that aims at an interpretative understanding of social action and thereby at a causal explanation of its course and consequences”—Max Weber); it relates deviance, as a particular form of social action, to social structure. Its goal is to identify, analyze, and explain different forms of deviant behavior, and how society creates, or responds to, it. It considers a wide variety of issues, such as different theoretical approaches to deviance and social control, empirical patterns of deviant behaviors, and temporal, spatial, and cultural variations in these patterns.

NOT considered are topics addressed in detail in other sociology courses, such as drugs and criminology, or issues that pertain to other academic disciplines, such as motivational aspects of deviant behavior (psychology), “cults” (religious studies), or the administration of justice (criminal justice). This course’s focus is on institutions, not individuals.


This is a large lecture course. Hence, the primary method of instruction is lecture, but there will also be case studies done in class. The reading assignment for each class is posted in Blackboard.


To give students a better understanding of

  1. the behavior of individuals and groups who commit deviance;

  2. the ways in which society reacts to a variety of deviant behavior; and

  3. theories that help explain deviant behavior and the social reactions that follow.

An Important Note

In this course we may read texts, watch movies, or discuss materials that include explicit language and explore sensitive themes such as genocide or other forms of violence. Some of the views expressed in this course may challenge ideas or beliefs that students hold dear; while it is understood that at times students might feel discomfort, it is generally expected that they will read these texts, watch these movies, and discuss the materials. In other words, for students enrolled in this course it is assumed that they are consenting to grapple with sensitive issues, in a critical and respectful manner. However, students are not a captive audience and retain the option to refrain from participation; they may always leave the class room if they feel uncomfortable with a topic or material. If dealing with sensitive/violent materials in this course is a problem, it is the student’s responsibility to inform and come see me within the first week of classes so that strategies to circumvent the problem can be discussed.


Day/ Date


Reading/Assignment (Readings available via Blackboard)

1 1-19

Syllabus – Class Policies

2 1-21

1. Definitions and Concepts Relevant to Deviance

Goode, Chapter 1

3 1-24

2. Approaches to Deviance

Goode, Chapter 2, pp. 24-26; Chapter 3, pp. 48-49

4 1-26

3. Positivist Theories

Goode, Chapter 2, pp. 27-46

5 1-28



6 1-31

Milgram (I)


7 2-2

Milgram (II)

Blass; Burger

8 2-4

My Lai

Kelman/Hamilton; Carey

9 2-7

Reflections on My Lai; Eichmann


10 2-9

Reflections on Eichmann


11 2-11

EXAM 1 In-class (no materials allowed)

12 2-14

4. Constructionist Theories

Goode, Chapter 3, pp. 49-70

13 2-16



14 2-18

Stanford Prison Experiment

Zimbardo; Fiske et al.; Wallis

No class on 2-21:

Presidents’ Day

15 2-23

Reflections on Stanford Prison

16 2-25

Abu Ghraib


17 2-28

Reflections on Abu Ghraib

18 3-2

5. Sexual Deviance and Boundaries of Sexual Identity

Sex Work

Goode, Goode, Chapter 4, pp. 79-80; Chapter 9, pp. 209-13; Weitzer

19 3-4



Spring Recess 3-7 to 3-11

20 3-14


(note: this topic will not be on exam 2 but on exam 3)


21 3-16

EXAM 2 In-class (all materials allowed)

22 3-18



23 3-21



24 3-23

Attitudes toward Homosexuality and Boundaries of Sexual Identity

Goode, Chapter 4, pp. 87-89; Chapter 9, pp. 201-9; Humphreys

25 3-25



26 3-28

Same-Sex Unions and Same-Sex Marriage

Pew Research Center

27 3-30

6. Criminal Behavior, Criminal Violence, and Deviant Organizational Behavior

Rape and Sexual Assault

Goode, Chapter 6 (pp. 123-304)

28 4-1

Crime Statistics

Goode, Chapter 4 (pp. 73, 80-81: only as it relates to UCR/NCVS); Chapter 5; Chapter 6 (pp. 118-23)

29 4-4

White Collar Crime

Goode, Chapter 10 (pp. 223-35); Liederbach

30 4-6

EXAM 3 Online

31 4-8

7. Mental Disorder

Goode, Chapter 10

32 4-11



33 4-13

8. Disability as Deviance

North American Eugenics


34 4-15


Grekul et al.

35 4-18


Lombardo, “Eugenics: Compulsory sterilization” website

36 4-20

Nazi “Euthanasia”

Neugebauer; Stoeckle

37 4-22



38 4-25


“Special Children’s Wards” website; Kreitmair

39 4-27

Current Issues: Right to Die/”Euthanasia” of Disabled Children


40 4-29


40 5-2

Disability Rights

Switzer; Black

41 5-4

Review for final exam

5-6 10:30AM

EXAM 4 (Final; Online)


  1. Textbook (required): Erich Goode, Deviant Behavior (9th ed.; Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010). ISBN 0-205-74807-4 (the book should be purchased at the beginning of the semester. Other editions cannot be used.) 

  2. Other readings (required): Available in Blackboard, including Bailey-Howe’s E-Reserves. The files are in .doc and .pdf format; they require MS Microsoft Word or a pdf reader (see UVM’s software archive Some pages load/open slowly, so students should use an on-campus computer or right-click on the link and choose “save file as…” on their computer. (Once on the hard drive, students should be able to open the file.)


Exams and Pop Quizzes

There will be four exams. The exams pertain to materials covered in class, in the readings, and posted in Blackboard. The first three exams are non-cumulative, whereas the last one is cumulative. All questions are multiple-choice and/or true-false.
There will be two unannounced pop quizzes. For each quiz, students receive credit for answering a few questions based on the reading, as posted in BB, for that day (open book).
The use of electronic communication media is not permitted during in-class exams or quizzes, and none is allowed even to be in sight. Since I may have to proctor the exam by myself, I cannot answer questions during the exam. If you think a question or answer is in error, mark the top front page of your exam sheet with an asterisk and put an asterisk also next to the question that you consider to contain an error.
STUDYING FOR THE EXAM: use 1) your notes taken in class; 2) handouts; 3) printouts of power points; 4) your notes on the readings.

Good participation includes participation in class activities and particularly turning in all or almost all of the response forms for in-class activities and audiovisual materials. These forms will not be accepted later than when they are due. Good participation can result in a boost of up to two letter grades (e.g., B- to B+) in the final grade.
Deductions of up to two letter grades from the final grade are possible for students who do any of the following:

  • have three or more missing response forms or don’t participate otherwise in class (see above)

  • talk to each other during a lecture or use their cell phone or other devices (see classroom policies)

  • come later or leave early, or are otherwise inattentive or engage in other distractive behavior

  • don’t check/use Blackboard regularly, and/or do not respond to my messages to them in Blackboard in a timely fashion

Notification of such behavior as a warning, if feasible, will be sent via Blackboard.
Students can sign up for extra participation opportunities, but only at the beginning of the semester: 1) setting up the audiovisuals (some experience required); 2) giving out handouts; 3) collecting student feedback; or 4) ensuring that class room policies are not violated. Signing up constitutes a commitment; if a student does not live up to this commitment, his/her final grade can be lowered.
Last day to drop the course: Jan. 31.

Last day to withdraw from the course: April 4.


Max. Points

Student Score

Grade Schedule


Exam no. 1 In-class, no materials allowed


1000-966 points


Exam no. 2 In-class, materials allowed (no electronics)


965-933 points


Exam no. 3 Online only


932-900 points


Exam no. 4 (=Final), cumulative Online only


899-866 points


Pop quiz 1


865-833 points


Pop quiz 2


832-800 points




799-766 points


765-733 points


732-700 points


699-666 points


665-633 points


632-600 points


* Includes boosts to and deductions from final grade

599-000 points


Incompletes: Per Registrar’s web page: “This grade may be assigned when course work is not completed for reasons beyond the student's control. Incompletes require the approval of the student's dean. The incomplete course requirement will be satisfied at the earliest possible date, but not longer than the beginning of the corresponding semester of the next academic year…. Instructors will fill out an incomplete card and forward it to the student's dean and include the reason for the incomplete as well as the completion date agreed to by the student and instructor. It is the student's responsibility to learn from the dean's office whether the request has been approved, the date of completion, and, from the instructor, the nature of all outstanding requirements. Incompletes may be approved for the following reasons: medical, personal tragedy or academic. In all instances, students must contact the appropriate dean's office to obtain necessary application information.”
Electronic Devices

The use of electronic devices such as laptops during class is prohibited if it interferes in any way with the class and is permissible only after prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.

Electronic Device Use Form

Students wishing to use an electronic device should list the device and state why/how/when they want to use it (due at the beginning of the semester).



Athletic-Academic Conflicts

Students participating in inter-collegiate athletic are responsible for documenting in writing any conflicts between their planned athletic schedule and the class schedule by the end of the second full week of classes. If unavoidable conflicts arise, a resolution will be sought permitting students to address the course requirement and participate in athletic competitions, but academic matters retain priority. As indicated in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog, “the instructor has final authority on this matter.”

Religious Holidays

Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. If students wish to do this, they should submit in writing to me by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. If they then miss work for the purpose of religious observance, they are permitted to make up this work.

Disability Accommodations, Emergencies, and Special Needs

If students have special needs (due to personal circumstances, emergencies, disability, illness, etc.), I will do my best to make the necessary accommodations. Students should let me know as soon as possible, but for non-emergency situations, at least a week’s notice is appreciated. For documentation of a disability and accommodation requirements, students need to go through ACCESS.

Excuse/Makeup Request Form

In case of illness or family emergency, students need to provide me this form as well as documentation (such as a doctor’s note) by the third day after an assignment has been missed. If it takes longer, a student need to speak to the CAS Dean’s Office and ask them to contact me. All materials have to be submitted in hard copy to me in person or in my mail box.

Date of absence:


Academic Honesty

UVM's Code of Academic Integrity can be found here:

See particularly: “1. All ideas, arguments, and phrases, submitted without attribution to other sources, must be the creative product of the student. Thus, all text passages taken from the works of other authors must be properly cited. The same applies to paraphrased text, opinions, data, examples, illustrations, and all other creative work. Violations of this standard constitute plagiarism….3. Students may only collaborate within the limits prescribed by their instructors. Students may not complete any portion of an assignment, report, project, experiment or exam for another student. Students may not claim as their own work any portion of an assignment, report, project, experiment or exam that was completed by another student, even with that other student’s knowledge and consent. Students may not provide information about an exam (or portions of an exam) to another student without the authorization of the instructor. Students may not seek or accept information provided about an exam (or portions of an exam) from another student without the authorization of the instructor. Violations of this standard constitute collusion.”

Class room Behavior and Etiquette

We will at all times conduct ourselves in a manner that serves to maintain, promote, and enhance the high quality academic environment befitting the University of Vermont. See the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog:

“To this end, it is expected that all members of the learning community will adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Faculty and students will attend all regularly scheduled classes, except for those occasions warranting an excused absence under the University Attendance Policy (e.g., religious, athletic, and medical).

  • Students and faculty will arrive prepared for class and on time, and they will remain in class until the class is dismissed.

  • Faculty and students will treat all members of the learning community with respect. Toward this end, they will promote academic discourse and the free exchange of ideas by listening with civil attention to comments made by all individuals.

  • Students and faculty will maintain an appropriate academic climate by refraining from all actions that disrupt the learning environment (e.g., making noise, ostentatiously not paying attention, and leaving and reentering the classroom inappropriately).”

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