"Sumner's Obituary for the Sociology of Deviance is, quite simply, a classic - a must read for any serious student of criminology, one that has stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time." Professor Steve Tombs, The Open University " - an excellent essay that should be required reading for scholars engaged in deviance research - . an excellent example of the insights that can be gained by widening one's theoretical and methodological horizon." Professor Sudhir Venkatesh, American Journal of Sociology "...remarkably well written and informative - - very well done indeed." the late Professor Edwin M. Lemert, personal communication "...an erudite, engaging and provocative history of sociological ideas...an outstanding piece of sociology." Professor Ian Loader, The Sociological Review This book charts the rise and fall of a field of enquiry. It critically documents its rise out of the late 1930's to popularity as part of a libertarian critique of heavy-handed authority in the sociology of the 1960's. The concept of deviance was an area of social scientific research, a psychiatric-sounding term of social censure, and a conceptual playpen for the culturally defiant. It began as a generic term for behaviour breaking social norms in a New Deal USA striving for unity, but declined when revealed in the 1970's as a selective and incoherent censure of challenges to the culture of patriarchal capitalist society, e.g. adolescent delinquency, hippie lifestyles, drug culture, independent female sexuality, subcultural black cool, and the socialistic. The book ends with an outline of the author's concept of social censure as the replacement for the idea of deviant behaviour. Colin Sumner is a professor of sociology, and Head of the School of Sociology and Philosophy, University College Cork, Ireland. He is the creator and editor of CrimeTalk, the online criminology magazine at www.crimetalk.org.uk. For many years, he was a lecturer at Cambridge University's Institute of Criminology, and later Head of the Law School at the University of East London. He is the author of Reading Ideologies, a restatement of Marxian theory of ideology and a critique of methods of decoding discourse. His edited books include Crime, Justice and Underdevelopment, Censure, Politics and Criminal Justice, Violence, Culture and Censure, and The Blackwell Companion to Criminology. He co-founded the journal Theoretical Criminology.
Publisher: CrimeTalk Books
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at