Christopher D. Bader
and Joseph O. Baker
's book Deviance Management: Insiders, Outsiders, Hiders, and Drifters
(University of California Press, 2019) examines how individuals and subcultures manage the stigma of being labeled socially deviant. Exploring high-tension religious groups, white power movements, paranormal subcultures, LGBTQ groups, drifters, recreational drug and alcohol users, and more, the authors identify how and when people combat, defy, hide from, or run from being stigmatized as “deviant.” While most texts emphasize the criminological features of deviance, the authors’ coverage here showcases the diversity of social and noncriminal deviance. Deviance Management
allows for a more thorough understanding of strategies typically used by normalization movements to destigmatize behaviors and identities while contributing to the study of social movements and intra-movement conflict.
This interview with co-author Joseph Baker covers how deviance management occurs in contemporary examples, such as bigfoot watch groups and the Westboro Baptist Church. Additionally, Baker discusses how he and his co-author conducted this research using a mixed-methods approach and how the authors gained access to these stigmatized communities. Other topics covered in the interview include what makes something or someone deviant, in-depth explanations of the processes of deviance management, and the future of deviance research—including how sociologists should approach the study of deviance moving forward.
Christopher D. Bader is Professor of Sociology at Chapman University. Joseph O. Baker (@ParadoxOfBelief
) is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at East Tennessee State University.
Krystina Millar is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Her research interests include gender, sociology of the body, and sexuality. Specifically, Krystina is interested in how LGBTQ individuals experience their bodies and the relationship between gender, sexuality, and eating disorders. You can find her on Twitter at @KrystinaMillar.