Name of class: Deviance and social control (Sociology)

Paper requirements:

  • 2500 (minimum) to 3500 words (approximately 8-10 pages)

Observation Paper: Chosen Topic—(Prostitution onBusy Street Corners) DUE March 30th by 10 pm


Students will choose a setting or group and conduct an observation, focusing on noting deviant behavior in that setting or group. Suggested settings include busy street corners, malls, coffee shops or restaurants, airports, churches, public parks, courtrooms, etc. They will write a paper relating their observations and analyzing the deviant behavior using what they have learned in the course. Students must apply the course materials to their observations and answer questions such as:

  • What perspectives are being used? (Options) Relativism: Labeling Theory, Social Power: Conflict Theory of Crime, and The Morality of Deviance

  • What theories would I apply? (Options) Biological and Psychological Theories, Social Learning Theory, Intelligence Theorist, Structural Functionalism, Differential Opportunity Theory, Conflict Theory, Cultural Theories, Reaction Theory, Interactionists, Differential Association Theory, Control Theory

  • How are the deviant acts I observe constructed? (Options) Moral Entrepreneurs: Campaigning, Differential Social Power: Labeling, Differential Social Power: Resisting Labeling

  • Would I classify the behaviors as part of a deviant identity or career?

  • How are the acts organized or structured?

    Papers will be formatted using the ASA style.

    Paper requirements:

  • 2500 (minimum) to 3500 words (approximately 8-10 pages)

  • 5 outside sources regarding deviance: 3 peer reviewed journal articles and 2 Internet sites (you may use more than five but not less)

  • Times New Roman, 12 pt. font

  • Double-spaced with one-inch margins

  • Microsoft Word (files end in .doc or .docx)

    Note on sources:using the materials that we have covered, you are observing individuals in everyday situations in which their behavior may be defined as deviant.

    *Remember that it is just as important that you be able to identify acceptable (normative) behavior as unacceptable (deviant) behavior. Your sources are evidence that scholars and other individuals share similar ideas, thus supporting your observation.

    As an example:

    You are sitting in the mall observing people when you notice that many young people have tattoos but rarely do older individuals especially older women. Think about body manipulation. What have scholars of culture reported about this phenomenon (peer reviewed journals)? What do various Internet sites report about tattoos? Are tattoos normative for some members of society but deviant for other members? What about history? Were tattoos once deviant for all of society members? What motivates an individual to get a tattoo? Is one tattoo normal but total body tattoos deviant? What is the difference in tattoos and other forms of body manipulation, i.e. piercings or cosmetic surgery.

Any deviant or normative behavior that you observe can be analyzed with the same set of questions. Your sources will help you ask various questions and enhance your observations.Be sure to address the idea of respecting others’ choices.Should we respect all choices? How do we show respect? How would you describe being respectful but disagreeing with the deviant behavior?