Is much like rape and robbery—
That is, they say it’s wrong.
It’s different from the norm, you see;
Disordered, yes, intrinsically
(Though clinical psychology
Now sings a different song)
In Social Work, class three-fourteen
What “deviance” is meant to mean,
(So says the statement from the dean)
Is “different from the norm”.
Franciscan’s academic scene
Is filtered through a Catholic screen—
What makes it through is squeaky clean,
Selected to conform
And those who live a different way—
The thief, or rapist; whore, or gay
The people who’ve been led astray
In this course, they’re addressed.
And those who cluck with loud dismay
Whose first response is just to pray
Whose numbers shrink each passing day
Will they be on the test?
DEVIANT BEHAVIOR focuses on the sociological theories of deviant behavior such as strain theory, differential association theory, labeling theory, and phenomenological theory. The behaviors that are primarily examined are murder, rape, robbery, prostitution, homosexuality, mental illness, and drug use. The course focuses on structural conditions in society that potentially play a role in influencing deviant behavior.
According to NPR, the Franciscan U. gay and lesbian alumni group quite understandably wants the course description changed.
One could easily find other groups that fit the description of “deviant behavior” (the university statement defines it simply as “different from the norm”). One such group would be… Oh, I dunno… Franciscans. One of Cuttleson’s recent classes focused on religious groups (cults and other small, “deviant” groups), so I know the textbooks are out there. I frankly think that, academically, it makes more sense to expand the number of examples of “deviant behavior” rather than to limit them, given the historical uses and misuses of the term. We (I define “we” broadly, to include groups I don’t particularly identify with) have marginalized people, criminalized, institutionalized, discriminated against in so very many ways. For The Franciscan University to include their own deviant (by the sociological definition) behavior in the class, perhaps they could learn a bit about why other groups might not appreciate the label they currently share with such a select group.