SOC-253: Sociology of Deviance

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Academic Level
Course Subject
Course Number
Course Title
Sociology of Deviance
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

Explores how one becomes deviant, the social construction of deviant behavior, the impact of societal responses to deviance, and processes used to control deviant behavior. Offers a wide range of perspectives and theoretical formulations to explain the onset, persistence, and desistence of deviance. Also discusses both formal and informal responses to deviant behaviors including criminalization and stigmatization, and their cross-cultural variation. Additionally, course examines particular forms of deviance including homicide, domestic violence, mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual deviance, property and white collar/organized crimes.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

This course introduces the sociological approach to understanding deviant behavior.  A wide range of perspectives and theoretical formulations will be used to explain the onset, persistence and desistence of deviance.

Core Course Topics
  1. Introduction to the Study of Deviant Behavior.
  2. Sociological Theories of Deviant Behavior.
  3. Violence and Deviant Behavior.
  4. Deviance and Interpersonal Relationships.
  5. Mental Illness.
  6. Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
  7. White Collar and Organized Crime.
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)

1.  Overview of Deviant Behavior

  •     Define deviant behavior
  •     Explain how social/legal norms are created and violated
  •     Explain the consequences of social/legal norm violation
  •     Describe how deviance is socially constructed
  •     Analyze how power is involved in defining and labeling deviance.*
  •     Illustrate stigmatization and the formation of deviant identities

2.  Sociological Theories of Deviant Behavior

  •     Explain the micro and macro sociological approaches to the study of deviant behavior
  •     Describe sociological theories associated with specific forms of deviant behavior
  •     Describe the theoretical formulations that derive from the conflict and functionalist perspectives
  •     Analyze recent advances in the theoretical foundations of the study of deviance.*

3.   Violence and Deviant Behavior

  •     Explain the types and definitions of homicide, assault and battery.
  •     Describe the trends and patterns of homicide in theUS.

4. Deviance and Interpersonal Relationships

  •     Define domestic violence and explain types, forms and risk factors
  •     Describe the characteristics of victims and offenders
  •     Analyze the cultural, social and medical definitions of rape, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse
  •     Analyze definitions of sexual deviance in theUSand across the globe.*

5. Mental Illness

  •     Analyze the cultural, social and medical definitions of mental illness.*
  •     Explain the various forms and prevalence of mental illness.

6. Alcohol and Drug Abuse

  •     Explain the nature and prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse in theUSand across the globe.
  •     Evaluate applicable theories as explanations of alcohol and drug abuse.*

7. Property Crime

  •     Explain the nature and definitions of various property crimes such as burglary, robbery and larceny-theft.
  •     Describe the prevalence of property crimes in theUSand across the globe.

8. White Collar and Organized Crime

  •     Explain the nature and definitions of white collar crimes.
  •     Describe the prevalence of white collar crimes in theUSand across the globe.

9. Analyze social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender and age as they relate to deviance.*

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

To be determined by the instructor.  However, a wide range of assessment including (but not limited to) true and false, multiple choice, matching, short answer, research paper, internet assignments, newspaper searches, article analysis and library projects may be utilized.


To be determined by instructor.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Details

Determined by department

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2014
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Fall 2014