SOCI 3501

Professor: Carol Rambo, Ph.D.              Office: Clement 225       Phone: 678-2611 for messages

Best way by far to get me-------------------------E-mail:


Required text

Deviance: The Interactionist Perspective.  (2002) Eds. Earl Rubington and Martin Weinberg.  Eighth edition. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon




To give the student an overview of the sociology of deviant behavior, including investigative methods, theory, and how these are applied to various areas of social life.  The student will develop the ability to explain the enforcement of social norms from various points of view.  The ultimate aim of this course is to understand that there are a multitude of perspectives when considering deviance and that deviance is a cultural construct.




This course is heavily dependent on lecture materials.  I will always let the student know what readings the lectures are from, where appropriate.  Students who miss a great deal of class historically have not done well in terms of their grades.  Please consider this as you evaluate your priorities.

A liberal arts education means literally to "liberate" your mind.  Therefore, expect the unexpected.  Open yourself up to guest speakers, mini-experiments, and the opinions of others; brief writing assignments, and alternative perspectives.

Discussion is of the utmost importance.  You have paid money to be sitting here.  DO NOT ALLOW ME TO LECTURE WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE CONFUSED OR UNCLEAR ON THE MATERIALS.  Only VICTIMS allow this to happen to them.  If you are having problems, chances are someone else is too!  If you feel uncomfortable about your progress in the course, I hope you will choose to schedule an appointment.  We can work it out!!!




Primary Evaluations for grades are based on three quizzes.  Please take note of the grading scale:

                        A = 100 - 90%

                        B = 89 - 80%

                        C = 79 - 65%

                        D = 64 - 58%

                        F = below 58%



Each 33-question quiz is multiple choice in character.  While none of the quizzes are precisely cumulative in nature, keep in mind the concepts that occur early in the course are used later to advance our understanding of specific substantive issues. Make up quizzes are permitted with proper documentation and are to be scheduled with the instructor.  You must contact the instructor ONE WEEK after missing a quiz or forfeit the opportunity to make it up.  There will be no curving, but as you can see, the grading system is very flexible with 3 opportunities for extra points. 



The Journal will consist to five type written entries about two pages long.  I will not be neurotic picky on this, quality counts more than quantity.  Using a one-inch margin, a type written double spaced page will consist of about 250 words.  Each entry will be worth 2 points for a maximum value of 10 points for the whole journal.  Your entries will take things you encounter in your daily life and analyze them in terms of the meta-theories you will pick up in class.  Each entry will contain one meta-theory thoroughly explored and all three meta-theories must be used once in the journal.  I will elaborate more on this in class.   You may use your experience, newspaper articles, books, CNN, movies, MTV, songs, a rad story your friend told you happened to her, ANY kind of experience.  Have fun with this.  Use the concepts correctly; do not just identify the idea, but demonstrate how it is functioning in the example.

Do not repeat specific class examples, you will get no credit.  If, however, you notice one of the concepts we learn about at work in class, this is fair game.  Neatness will count one point per entry.  If you are a slob genius, you could still lose a total of 5 points on the assignment.  If you want to run a sample journal entry by me before the date of your first exam, I will be willing to critique it (no hard and fast grade).



Upon handing in your last exam, I will look at your face.  If it is a face that consistently adds to class discussion, I will add two points to your grade.  If it is a face that occasionally contributes, I will add one point.



You are an adult.  You pay your money; you decide if you want to attend.  I will, however, take attendance for two purposes.  If you have perfect attendance after the first week of class, three points will be assigned to your grade, equivalent to the weight of answering three exam questions correctly.  If you only miss one or two periods during this time, I will assign two extra credit points.  Miss three periods and I will assign one point of extra credit.  Students who miss more than this number of classes (my second purpose) will have a great deal of trouble gaining sympathy if they are not doing well in the class.  We can talk about your absences if you are in a dire situation.  I must assume, however, if you choose not to attend and you do poorly, that you are choosing to do poorly and I need not put forth any effort on your behalf.


Tentative Schedule


January 13, 15               What is Theory?  Perspective?  Truth?


20, 22                           Conflict and Uncle Karl Marx, James C. Scott


27, 29                           The Functionalists: Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert K. Merton.


February 3, 5,10, 12  The Constructionists: Herbert Blumer (Mead and Cooley), Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, Erving Goffman, Edwin Lemert, Howard Becker.  Please read pages 1-22 before your first exam.

 17                                 Review/Catch-up day

19                                 Quiz 1

24                                 Drugs and Alcohol.  Please read the following articles: Pages 23-31, 32-41, 68-79, 81-90, 316-325, 420-427

26                                Alternative Gendered and Sexual Identities, Homophobia.  Please read the following articles: Pages 238-243, 300-309, 310-315, 355-363, 436-449.

 March 2, 4                     Spring Break

 9,                          Homophobia continued.

 11, 16                         Exotic Dancing.  Please read the following                                      article: Pages 396-407.


18                                 Review/Catch-up day


21                                 Quiz 2


28                                 Body modifications.  Please read the following articles: Pages 363-374, 375-383.


30                                 Domestic Violence. Please read the following articles: Pages 48-56, and 139-150.


April 1.                          Journals are due at the end of the class period.  No late turn-ins, no exceptions.


                                    Mental Illness.  Please read the following articles: Pages 42-47, 98-107,178-191. Guest speaker: Dr. Cliff Heegel, Licensed Psychologist. 


6, 8, 13                        Sexual Exploitation:  Sexual Harassment, Rape, And Childhood Sexual Abuse.  Please read pages 166-177 and 409-419.


15                                 Review/Catch-up day


20                                 Quiz three.  Last day of class.


Reminder:  Make up quizzes permitted only when:

  1. You have an excuse I have approved.
  2. You have documentation for that excuse.
  3. You contact me before one week has passed after missing the quiz.  NO EXCEPTIONS!