Creating Deviance Rules: A Macroscopic Model Author(s): Ronald J. Troyer and Gerald E. Markle Source: The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Spring, 1982), pp. 157-169 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society Stable URL: http://www. jstor. org/stable/4106327 Accessed: 16/11/2009 09:18 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR’s Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www. jstor. org/page/info/about/policies/terms. jsp.
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The SociologicalQuarterly (Spring1982):157-169 23 Deviance Rules: Creating A Macroscopic Model* RonaldJ. Troyer,Drake University GeraldE. Markle,Western MichiganUniversity In this paperwe proposea macrolevel the modelfor analyzing creationof deviance rules. We begin by placingthe phenomenon withinthe contextof the social factist and social definitionist the sociological traditions, identifying insightsand difficulties the socialproblems We rule creation. sugliterature for deviance presents explaining difficulties be resolvedby lacingthe processwithina can gest that the theoretical The consequent dialecticalmodel of deviance framework. sociologyof knowledge is that society is composedof a numberof designation based on the assumption in of definitions deviance generalinterests varying degreesof conflictwithprevailing outcomes previous of This balanceor accommodation contests. becomes representing vulnerable with the introduction increasein strainwhich is a potentialresource or for interest a The groupsdesiring new definition. utcomeof the ensuingconflictis seen as dependent the abilityof the combatants employresources the battle. in on to We concludeby identifying advantages model has for studying deviance the the the rulecreation process. of This is how I treat theory: it is somethingto guide our understanding the social world; it helps us throughthe labyrinthof the buzzingconfusion of conflictingideologies, and, most of all, theory liberatesus from dead facts and worn-out myths. Davis 1980:xv) But since those sociologistswho espouse a strong and explicit determinism,and those who practice the techniquesof “verstehen,” “empathy,”and “takingthe actor’spoint of view,” differ upon so very many issues, technical and otherwise, the present suggestions are more likely to be treated as a pollution of the boundarybetween schools of thought than as a pathway to agreement. (Barnes, 1974:83-84) For decades the sociology of deviance focused on rule violation. This approach produced works on rule violators, described which rules were violated and how they were violated, and, arguably, why they were violated.
Largely neglected in this work was the process by which rules were created; that is, the process by which deviant categories and designations were constructed. Recently scholars have begun to focus attention on this issue, resulting in various empirical case studies or rationales for the import of the collective definition process (Nuehring and Markle, 1974; Conrad, 1975; Pfohl, 1977; Spector and Kitsuse, 1977; Levine, 1978; Schneider, 1978; Markle and Troyer, 1979; Conrad and Schneider, 1980. As with many deviance studies, these efforts have not produced an explicit framework relating rule creation to the broader theoretical conceptions of social processes and the structural order. As a remedy, ? 1982 by The Sociological Quarterly. All rights reserved. 0038-0253/82/1300-0157$00. 75 *The authors thank Roland Chilton, Ronald Kramer, Frances McCrea, Joseph W. Schneider, Malcolm Spector, and Mayer Zald for their helpful comments. Ronald J. Troyer’s address is Department of Sociology, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa 50311. 158 THE SOCIOLOGICALQUARTERLY
Collins has called for a radicaldeparture deviancestudies,statfrom traditional ing that “thenext step clearlymustbe to abolishthe field of devianceentirely,to and link its materialswith what is knownof generalexplanations stratification of politics” (1975:17). And Davis (1980:5) has observedthat the time has come “for the sociology of deviance to move into mainstreamtheory–based sociology. ” What theoreticalform ought these investigations take? The developments in sociologicaltheoryin the past few decadeshave been focusedaroundtwo dominant perspectives.
The nature of these approachescan best be graspedby referringto Ritzer’s (1975) distinctionbetween the social factist and social definitionist paradigms. The social factist is primarilyconcernedwith the cause of social phenomena; thus the questionasked is a why question. By contrast,since the social definitionist more concernedwith process,the researchquestionis a is how question. In studyingdeviance,for example,the social factistshave focused on behaviordescribing extent and natureasking”Whydo thesepeople do it? ” its focusedon the process On the otherhand, the social definitionists have primarily Howhavethesepersons as asking by whichpeoplecometo be defined deviant the label? ” acquired deviant have and Webelieve the theoretical of that efforts thefactists thedefinitionists been useful. Such work, though clearly the creationand social constructionof of scholars,is necessaryif the study of rule creationis to lead to generalizations wider applicability. Towardthat end, we reviewsome relevantliterature, develop creation a sociologyof knowledgeframework, then presenta macrodeviance and model which attemptsto bridge the gap between the factist and definitionist erspectives. Literature between PerhapsArmandMauss has best capturedthe essence of the difference the two majortraditionalapproachesto social problemstheory. The essence of the scholarlydisagreement, noted, came down to one grouparguingthat “sohe cial problems are ‘objective’realities which generate collective behavior and political action”versus the view that “socialproblemsare essentiallygenerated by collectivebehaviorand politicalprocesses”(1977:602, emphasisin original).
The former closely approximatesthe social factist approach,while the latter the represents social definitionist position. Social factist scholarshave tended to explain social problemsas the product of some environmentally condition. This tradition, disharmonious usuallytermed the strain explanation,has often focused on economic conditions (Oberschall, between differentgoals, differentvalues, 1973) but also includes discrepancies values and norms, knowledgeand actions, technologyand values, and so forth (Smelser, 1962: chap. 3).
Smelser,for example,indicatesthat “norm-oriented movements”(definedas attemptsto restore,protect,modify,or createnormsin the name of a generalizedbelief,” 1962:270) often springfrom the following kindsof strain: Sometimes the appearanceof new knowledge initiates a movement to apply this knowledge in order to eradicate a condition previously taken for granted. (1962: 287) CreatingDeviance Rules 159 can betweennormative and standards actualsocialconditions proAny disharmony videthe basisfor a movement whoseobjective is to modifynorms. 1962:289) it Davis (1975) used a strainmodel to explain changesin the collectivedefinition of deviance. Whileseeingdeviancedefinitions productsof powerstruggles as between groups with new rules representing values of those groups able to the win state endorsement their values, Davis suggeststhat “the diffusionof new of knowledgeis a majorcause of collective searchesfor new normsin the modern world”(1975:53). Although strain has been a populartheoreticalapproachfor studyingsome social problems(e. g. race riots), few empiricalstudiesof deviancedesignation have followed from this tradition. PerhapsChamblisscame close in the study of the creation of new rules against vagrancy. In his words, “The vagrancy statutes emerged as a result of changes in other parts of the social structure” (1964:69). Specifically,the strain was the breakdownof the serf system; vagrancy laws were the responseof the rulingclass to protect their interestsand bring the system back to harmony. Zurcheret al. (1977) have also pointed to the crucial role of strainin the emergenceof antipornography crusades.
In the communities amongstatus studied,they found that as a resultof inconsistencies variables,the traditionalmiddle class was experiencingthreatsto its life-style. were attemptsto the Consequently, effortsto gain new rulesagainstpornography bolster the legitimacyof their life-style. In other words, in the strain tradition of new definitionsof devianceare seen as responsesto the introduction various kindsof socialchangein society. Insteadof focusingon the causes of social problems,such as strain(objective traditionstressthat collective acconditions), scholarsin the social definitionist tions emergefrominteraction, processes.
As Blumerstated: especiallyinterpretive “social problemslie in and are productsof a process of collective definition” (1971:301). Spector and Kitsuse (1977) pursuedthis theme with their argument that scholarsmust focus on the claims-making the process to understand emergenceof a social problemor definitionof deviance. This processtraditionhas spawneda varietyof empiricalstudies,often focusdefinitionsof deviance. The ing on the creationof criminaland health-related best known of these studies is Becker’s (1963) analysisof the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
Arguingthat there was no majorincreasein the actualuse of the drug, which would be the focus of a strain explanation,Becker attributesthe new rule to the activitiesof a “moralentrepreneur. ” (For other interpretations, see Dickson, 1968; Galliherand Walker, 1977, 1978. ) Other studies have argued that juvenile courts were not created as a responseto increasesin delinquency,as the strainmodel would predict,but ratheras part of a moralcrusade of (Platt, 1969) or as the productof organizational conflictbetweensupporters the police and probationdepartments (Hagan and Leon, 1977).
In two studies of sex offensedefinitions,Rose (1977) and Roby (1969) also emphasizeprocessualexplanations. Roby examinedchanges in the New York State penal law on prostitution and found that the relative power of numerous interest groups and individuals determined the final version of the act. Similarly, Rose related the rise of the “rape problem” to the ideology and organizations generated by the women’s liberation movement. 160 THE SOCIOLOGICALQUARTERLY of The status politics interpretation the temperancemovementby Gusfield in (1963, 1967) representsanotherone of the majorprocessualapproaches the literature.
Basically,Gusfieldsuggeststhat the attemptsto have a behaviordesignated as deviantare often symbolicbattles”betweenopposedsystemsof moralities, culturesand stylesof life” (1963:173). In otherwords,it is not the behavior per se or social conditionswhich cause the attemptto label the behavioras deviant. Instead the designationof deviance must be seen as a productof status of for conflict,the competition the officialassignment honorand prestigethrough of legitimation groupnorms. The creationof new health-related of designations deviancehas been reviewed Conrad and Schneider(1980).
These authorshave set forth a “sequential by of model” and “grounded on generalizations” the medicalization deviance. Following Spectorand Kitsuse,they emphasizethe import,and not the accuracy,of medicalclaims-making, view claims as strategicdevices, and view medicalization which reflectpolitics and demedicalization devianceas “cyclicalphenomena” of of the day. In the most recent processualanalysis,Schursuggeststhat deviancemust be seen as a politicalphenomenon. Arguingthat there are at least two sides in any stigmacontest, Schursuggeststhat what is really at stake in deviancedefinitions is the power of the respectivegroups.
Since “power,of any sort, is more like a processthan an object” (1980:8), “deviancedefiningis not a static event but a continuousand changingprocess”(1980:66). In summary,the literaturereviewed above suggests two models for understandingthe collectivedefinitionof deviance. The process approacharguesthat collectivedefinitionsare the productof interestgroupdynamics. By contrastthe are is for, strainexplanation that societaldisjunctions responsible or at least play a majorrole in, the emergence new definitions. of BeyondDichotomousModels During the past decade, a numberof scholarshave attemptedto move beyond the raditionalstrainor processmodels. For example,Mauss (1975; Maussand of Wolfe, 1977) arguesthat new social problemsor new definitions devianceare best understoodas productsof social movementsled by interestgroups. In this view, social arrangements permit collective behaviorwhich usually focuses on structural strainsbroughtaboutby social change. Thoughmanystrainsare present in society, problem definitionis the product of interest groups organizing social movementswhich push for acceptanceof their definitionof reality.
Resource mobilizationtheory is another attemptto move beyond the strain and process models. This framework begins with the assumptionthat society is composedof competinggroups (economic, status, racial,etc. ). Strainis always present,since thereis conflictamonggroupsover whichvalues,norms,economic and arrangements, so forth are to prevailin the society. Group conflictand the of social movementsare analyzedin terms of the abilityof the colemergence lectivities to create and mobilize resources (Oberschall, 1973).
A dynamic element is introduced into the analysis: authorities as well as challengers possess resources; deployment by one side requires some kind of response (mobilization of additional resources) from the other side, lest the cause be defaulted. CreatingDeviance Rules 161 Marxistapproaches have also triedto move beyondstrainand processmodels. of Initially Marxist/conflict interpretations new rules defining deviance suggested that they were “firstand foremosta reflectionof the interestsof the governingclass” (Chambliss,1974:37).
In this view “thestate and legal systemare seen as instruments which can be manipulated,almost at will, by the capitalist class” (Beirne, 1979:379), an approachillustratedby Platt’s (1974) reinterpretation of the establishmentof the juvenile court as a conscious effort by SomeMarxcapitaliststo preserveexistingpoliticaland economicarrangements. ists have assigneda more ambiguous role to the state (Block, 1978), suggesting that it exercises a “relativeautonomy”in its relationship the capitalistclass to the enactmentof legislationis not alwaysin (Beirne, 1979:379).
Consequently, the objectiveinterestsof the capitalistclass, “but each case must be examined from and empirically on its own merits”(Beirne, 1979:380). Whatis important, this position,is that all of this occurswithinthe boundaries providedby the prevailing structuralrelations. Lauderdaleand Inveraritycriticizedthe early conflict approachesfor inadequately examiningthe politicalprocessunderlyingthe creationof deviance. Arguingthat “devianceis socially definedand as such is and changedthroughpoliticalprocesses”(1980a:36), they created,maintained, ask underwhat conditionsa form of actioncomes to be definedas deviant(Lauderdale, 1980:v).
Noting previousstudiesare characterized a “preoccupation by with subjectiveinterestsand lack of attentionto measuringobjectiveinterests” (1980b:229), they call for attentionto objectiveconditionsunderlyingthe deviance definitionprocess. These efforts are advancesover analyses which attributenew definitionsof devianceto social psychological processesor to the activitiesof individuals(moral entrepreneurs). Here, at least, an effortis made to locate the deviancewithin the larger social context. However, several issues remainunresolved.
First, although recent effortshave attemptedto find a role for objectiveconditions,the remainsunclear. At role of strainin the generation new deviancedesignations of one group of scholars,the social definitionists, suggestobjectivecondipresent tions are largely irrelevant,while others (especially Lauderdaleand Inverarity, to 1980b) are callingfor moreattention objectivefactors. A second majorunresolvedproblemis that none of the collectivedefinitionof deviance approachesexplains why specific behaviorsare selected for deviance silent on this issue.
Finally, In categorization. fact, the literatureis remarkably the approachesdiscussedabove do not yet explainwhy some deviancecreation effortsare unsuccessful. is in this contextthat we believe that resourcemobiliIt zation theory could prove valuable in the study of rule creationand deviance designation. Not only does it point toward relevantvariablesfor study, it also to providesan empiricalframework assess previousmovementsand predictthe successor failureof ongoingmovements. Any model or theory of deviance creation must addressthese issues.
More into a more genspecifically,a way must be found to subsumethese differences eral model rendering theoreticalissues amenableto empiricalevaluation. Toward a Sociology of Knowledge Given its theoretical import, it seems to us that there have been inexplicably few 162 THE SOCIOLOGICALQUARTERLY studiesof rule creation. Marxists,subsuming issue withinthe superstructure, the have focusedon the creationof laws whichmaintainruling-class privilege. Strain scholarstreat new rules as responsesto changedsocial conditions(new knowledge, Davis, 1975).
Only process scholars have directly addressedthe issue, viewing collective definitionsof devianceas “emergent productsof an interpretive process” (Hawkins and Tiedman, 1975:340), but studies in this tradition have not produceda rigoroustheoreticalexplanation. Instead, isolated studies have been characterized descriptiveand idiosyncratic detail withoutconnecby or tion to socialstructure generalsocialprocesses. In theirstudyof the medicalization deviance,Conradand Schneider(1980) of a solutionto the interactionist the pose impasse. Although labeling-interactionist of perspectivepresentsus with the questionsto ask concerningthe development deviancedesignations,” they note (1980:20), “it is a sociologyof knowledgeapproachthat is necessaryto answerthem. “We thinkof the sociologyof knowledge knowlas a study of the materialbasis of social ideas, categories,designations, and so forth. From this frameworkthe dependentvariablechanges: no edge, longer do we studythe deviantactor;ratherwe attemptto locate historicallythe origins and the social forces which supportedand opposed the definitionof the deviant category.
As Friedsonhas stated, the analysisshouldnot focus on “the etiology of some state so much as the etiology of the meaningof a state. Thus it asks questionslike: How does a state come to be considereddeviant? How does it come to be considered kindof devianceratherthan another? ” one (1970: 215-16). deviant To developtheirknowledgeapproach, Conradand Schneider interpret behaviorsas social constructionsof reality. Adopting Berger and Luckmann’s as (1966) scheme,they view realityconstruction a social processof threestages: The processbegins with the and internalization. xternalization, objectification, of construction a culturalproductor definition a personor collectionof perby becomespartof the generallyacceptedbody sons, continuesas the new definition of knowledge,and concludesas the individualsin publictake the new definition for grantedas partof theirworldview. We applaudConradand Schneider’s explicit sociologyof knowledgeand find their social constructionist approachinsightful. Their analysisof the historical contribution a dimensionsof the medicalization deviancerepresents significant of in by placingdeviancedesignations the broadersocial context.
At the sametime, we are uncomfortable with the apparentabsenceof a theoreticalmodel pointing to a more explicit method of data analysis. History is all aroundus; we need the guidanceto separate datafromthe noise. between In his Ideology and Utopia (1936), Karl Mannheimdistinguishes two types of sociologyof knowledge:”on the one hand a theoryand on the other hand an historical-sociological methodof research”(p. 266). As a theorywith the sociology of knowledgehas been pursuedvigepistemologicalimplications, orously.
Its methodologicalimplicationshave, however, remainedunderdevelhimselflargelyignoredthe methodological aspectsof knowledge oped. Mannheim theory, though he did write that “the most important task of the sociology of knowledge at present is to demonstrate its capacity in actual research in the historical-sociological realm” (p. 306). The methodological implications of Mannheim’s work have been pursued most CreatingDeviance Rules 163 rigorouslyby David Bloor in his 1976 book Knowledgeand Social Imagery. Bloor contendsthat our concernshouldbe phenomenological; method,howour scientific. Thesociologistis concernedwith knowlever, ought to be rigorously edge,” he writes, “purelyas a naturalphenomenon… instead of definingit as true or false belief, knowledgefor the sociologist is whatevermen take to be knowledge”(p. 2). Given that knowledgeis relativeand historicallyunstable, Bloor’s task is to elucidatethe materialbasis of its variation. To accomplishthis in task, he proposesa methodwhich he calls the “strong program” the sociology of knowledge,to wit, that our analysisought to be causal, impartial,and symmetrical.
While sociologists would not want to argue that social factors are the sole cause of belief, they should focus on how social conditionsproduceand reflect belief. In demandingan approachwhich is “impartial with respectto truthand success or failure”(p. 5), Bloor is not advofalsity, rationalityor irrationality, catinga value neutralposition. The task is not to crownwinnersor punishlosers but to understandboth sides. In that sense, Bloor’s sociology is agnostic. Ultito even irrelevant, mate truth,in any sense of the phrase,is seen as peripheral, the analysis.
Finally the strong programdemandsa symmetrical analysis. Too often scholarshave attempted analyzedeviantand normalbeliefs from differto ent stances, the former needing special explanation,while the latter–seen as logical, rational,or truthful-are seen to need no specialexplanation. We are interestedin using the sociology of knowledgeas a methodological to guide, as a way of using historicalmaterials build rigorousmodels. In a sense, then, we use Mannheimand Bloor to build a theoreticalmethod for empirical methods,especiallyas it appliesto socialhistory, study.
The notion of theoretical has been developedby Stinchcombe(1978; see also Graff, 1980). Good social theory, he asserts,must be groundedin historicaldata. “Peopledo much better the theory,”he argues,”wheninterpreting historicalsequencethanthey do when they set out to do ‘theory'” (p. 17) and “thatthe centraloperationfor building theories of history is seeking causally significantanalogiesbetween instances” of Thuswe aremost interested the methodological in implications the sociology of knowledge:as a way of pointingtowardvariables,as a way of using history, as a way-in short-of structuring analysis.
Suchan analyticstrategy,as a macroand rigorousversionof groundedtheory,ought to allow us to relateprescopic vious theoriesof devianceand our data in an iterativesort of way and, thus, to build and evaluatea model of how deviantcategoriesare designated. A DialecticalModelof DevianceDesignation In attemptingto addressthe theoreticaland methodologicalissues raised, we propose a dialecticalmodel of deviance designation. The model, presentedin to however,it attempts transcend Figure1, is influenced resourcemobilization; by arany single theory.
We begin with the assumptionthat within the structural is composedof a numberof generalinterestsin varying rangements, everysociety degreesof conflict. Such groupsmay be of varyingnature:with inclusiveor exin clusive membership, broad or narrowfocus. Their concernwith the definition (p. 7). Figure 1. A DialecticalModel of DevianceDefiniti General vested & other interests Definition i – +- Strain General vested & other interests S/ Specific interests CreatingDeviance Rules 165 question,however,is either peripheral,quiescent,or not effectivein the public arena.
The initial or prevailingdefinitionof a behavioras acceptableor unacceptable representsthe outcome of previousspecific interestgroup conflict;in other words, the balanceof the resourcesthe two sides were able to mobilize. or This balance or accommodation becomes vulnerablewith the introduction increase of strain. This developmentprovides existing general interest groups with a new resourceand opportunity claims-making. for Specificinterestgroups towardthe specific (includingthe state) form,or mobilize,or becomeredirected issue in question.
Faced with a challenge to their interests,groups benefiting from the prevailingdefinitionrespondby marshaling their own resources. The battle of these groups to maintainor change a rule is joined, the outcome dependingon the balance of the mobilizedresources. To speak of the “balanceof mobilized resources”should not be seen as merely suggestinga simplisticaccountingbalance. Of coursethe matteris muchmore complex. For example,the efficientemployment resources–usingresourcesin an arenawherethey have of maximal impact-may be just as importantas quantity.
The net result is that over a periodof time, at time2,the originaldefinitionsurvivesor a new designation takesits place. for In explicatingthe model, we make the following arguments its utility in collectivedefinition deviance: of examining issues raisedin the 1. The model addressesor handlesmanyof the theoretical literature. For example, existing sociological explanations assign central importance to, or ignore, the role of strain. The dialectical model directs the scholar’sattentionto the role of strainbut does not preclude,in fact demands, examinationof other social processes.
In addition,by viewing the state as an interestedparty, albeit a group with unique resources,it is possibleto examine official actions without assumingthe existence of an all powerfulmonolithical the definitional outcomes. Furthermore, modelpermitsanalysis entitydetermining and explanationof outcomeswhereneitherside achievestotal victory. in 2. The dialecticalmodel is consistentwith the “strong program” the sociology of knowledge. As Bloor (1976) has requested,this modelis causal,impartial, and symmetrical. Figure 1 is time ordered;that is, variablesappearin causal sequence with one another.
Moreoverthese sequences are made explicit, thus data analysis. The model thus allowsfor attemptsat statisticalmodelfacilitating of processvariablesby techniquesdevelopedfrom social factisttraditions. ing The model treats deviance rule creationsas naturalphenomena. Whethera rule is good or bad is irrelevant our analysis. RecallingGusfield’sstudyof the to temperancemovement,the validityof analysiswas independentof truthclaims about alcohol. Whetherthe drug is actuallyan aphrodisiac,a depressant,or a tool of the devil was essentiallyirrelevantto his conclusions.
Taking such an it agnosticpositionhas methodological implications: allowsfor the formalmodelvariables. Moreover,Bloor’slast dictum-that analysis ing of phenomenological be symmetrical–hasobvious implicationsfor the dialecticalmodel. Note that interestsfor or againstany definitionare handledin the same way, and have the same causal input into the model. 166 THE SOCIOLOGICALQUARTERLY 3. The model is dialectical. The theoryis timelessand has no end stage. Figure 1 shows only one referenceframe. But upon acceptanceof “Definition2,” general vested or other interestsare alreadyin place, advocatingfor or againsta new definition.
Though the theory is sequential,in the sense that it goes forwardin remainuntime, the units of time are not specified. Some deviancedesignations for long periods of time, others move more rapidlythroughstages of changed and vindication. Conradand Schneider,thinkingalong the same stigmatization of and demedicalization deviance the lines, have conceptualized medicalization as “cyclical”(1980:271). We preferto use the termdialectical,in that it leaves ratherthan suggestinga rethe directionof the next redefinition problematic as turnto an originalpoint. nor4. Deviance and normalcyare not distinctcategories.
We conceptualize coordinatesystem. As a prescribed as a point in a multidimensional guide malcy for conduct, a rule designatesthe limits of space aroundthe point in which a behavioris seen as deviant. behavioris viewed as normal. Outsidethis boundary, Now we can justify using the terms “rulecreation”and “deviancedesignation” more or less synonymously. The formerrefersto the boundaryitself, whichmay be thick or fuzzy; the latter refers to the space outside the boundary. Any behavioralboundary,in our view, is subject to cultural,temporal,or situational between factorswhich continuously defineit, or redefineit.
Thus is the boundary deviancy and normalcycontinuouslydrawnand redrawn,and a behavioralresituation,but ratherby definitionoccursnot by quantumleaps, as an “either-or” or pulled througha system of space. In the dialecticalmodel the being pushed as pushesor pulls aremanifested strainor process. and analyticintentions 5. The model is macroscopic. Our conceptualization the collectivelevel. We do not directlyconsider,for example,the are clearly at motivationsof an individualactor or leader. For two reasonswe down-playthe importof, or perhapseven ignore,such questionsas: Did leaderX makedecision or Y sincerelyor cynically?
Is he or she a moralentrepreneur a typical (but not concernedsuburbanite? First,we doubt,in social factistlanguage, authoritarian) that such variablesexplainvery much variancein deviancedesignation. The individual,qua individual,role in collective, historicprocessesis always limited. To Our second reasonis methodological: the extentthat psychologicalvariables are important,how are they to be measuredor assessed? For historicalstudies, motivationseems particularly Secondarysources,as well as various problematic. kinds of documents,seem suspecthere.
Even in contemporary settings,people’s of their own or others’motivationsare not trustworthy, especiallygiven reports or the vested or strategicinterestswhich can be served by lying, exaggerating, selectivelyforgetting. Rather,we focus on such variablesas strainand resources over time. and which can be operationalized measuredcomparably 6. The dialecticalmodel uses history. The model invites, perhapseven demands, a given rule to be placed in historical context. Moreover the data needed to test the model are historical, preferably in time series, data.
The model is shaped by these data and is thus grounded and inductive as Conrad and Schnei- CreatingDeviance Rules 167 der (1980:265) have suggested. In that sense the dialecticalmodel is meant to evaluate,as much as formallytest, historicalsequencesof data. 7. The model is conflictoriented,though not necessarilyMarxist. Many deviance designations,particularlythose formalizedas laws, are amenableto a Marxist analysis consistentwith the model. Large sums of money or other resources are often used by ruling elites for maintenanceof deviance definitions do or, less often, change.
However,some deviancedefinitions not seem to fit the Marxistmodel (see Markle and Troyer, 1979, or Hagan and Leon, 1977, for two such case studies). In the dialecticalmodel, vested or other interests(religious, ethnic, sex, status,etc. ) can militatefor, and indeedbe successfulat, creat(uneming new definitionsof deviance. Similarlystrainmightbe substructural strain ployment,new technology,etc. ), but the model allows for superstructural (e. g. , new knowledge). Using the DialecticalModel As an inductivetheory,the true test of the dialecticalmodel is its utility.
Let us and suggesta few ways, then, how the model mightbe operationalized used. We in begin with the concept of strain,which can be operationalized severalways. In our own researchon cigarettesmoking(Markleand Troyer,1979) and estrolegen replacements(McCrea and Markle, 1980), strainwas the appearance, or dissemination new knowledge; strainin our researchon Laetrile of gitimation, (Markle and Petersen, 1980) was, among other factors, an increasedconcern over cancer. As new health-related knowledgeclaims, strain can be measured with variousbibliometric techniques.
A simple content analysisof relevantarticles, over a period of years, from Index Medicus can be used to chart such knowledgeclaims. The perceivedlegitimacyof such claims can be assessedby the professionalprestige of the author or journal. Finally, the entry of such knowledgeclaims into the public arena can be measuredusing the New York Times Index, which Jenkins and Perrow (1977) found highly effective,or by one of severalnewspaperdata banks (e. g. , Newsbank)now in existence. After looking at strain,it is easy enoughto identifyspecificinterestsinvolved in redefinition.
Such organizations groups will have appearedas recipients, or sponsors,aggrievedparties,etc. , in news accountsor scholarlycitation. The resources of these groups can be measuredin severalways. The Encyclopediaof Associations, updated almost yearly, lists purportedmembershipsand other for simple demographics manysuchgroups. Moreover,most interestgroupshave which are usuallyeasy to obtain, often at literatureor even regularpublications no cost. When interests are corporate,much informationon resourcescan be gleaned from annual reports or, with somewhatmore effort, from regulatory In agenciessuch as the Securitiesand ExchangeCommission. ase studieswhere is an interestedparty, vast amounts of official statistics may be government available (see, e. g. , Markle and Troyer, 1979). Moreover,the researchercan use the Freedomof Information Act to obtain a deep windowinto government actions and resourcesin variousdeviancedesignations. Throughpublic records and other availabledata, every concept in the dialecticalmodel can be operationalized. Indeed,to measureresourcesin comparable ways, we have suggested of the development a researchprotocol (Markleand Petersen,1981). 168 THE SOCIOLOGICALQUARTERLY A Final Word iancearecreated changed, beenneglected socialtheory research. and or in has We believethat neglectcomes from theoretical The misdirection. dialectical thesedifficulties. to model,whichis knowledge based,is ourattempt ameliorate Becauseit attempts integrate traditional the theoryinvites to two approaches, both philosophical- empirical-based and criticisms. Thoughwe welcomethe we The in interested thelatter. realtestof thedialectical former, areparticularly modelis whether works. it Andwhether not it workscan onlybe judged or by it holdingit up to the lightof, and adjudicating with,historicaland contemporary
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