Discussion Questions

  1. Deviance is defined as “any action, belief, or human characteristic that members of a society or social group consider a violation of group norms for which the violator is likely to be censured or punished.” In what ways is obesity punished or censured in our society?
  2. What do you think of Jack Levin’s assertions about hate crime? Why are they considered so controversial? Which do you think is the most controversial and why?
  3. How do you think social class influences the reaction to drug use among teens? Why are poor teens more likely to go to jail for drug use than more affluent teens?
  4. How might African Americans being assumed by many in American culture to be criminals affect the interactions between a police officer and a young black man being stopped for a traffic violation?
  5. How might the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, affect the public opinion of homosexuality as deviant?