In this Second Edition of his investigation into the relative nature of social deviance and how the public perceives it, author John Curra demonstrates that what qualifies as deviance varies from place to place, time to time, and situation to situation. Through thought-provoking examples that include the blue people of Kentucky, a woman who believes she is a vampire, autoerotic asphyxiators, and others, Curra illustrates that deviance cannot be explained in terms of absolutes, nor can it be understood apart from its social setting. This insightful book approaches sex, violence, theft, suicide, drugs, and mental disorders in such a way that definitive or objective judgments become impossible.
Chapter 2: Being Deviant
Introduction: The Original Blue Man (and Woman) Group
Over six generations ago, Martin Fugate and his bride settled on the banks of eastern Kentucky's Troublesome Creek. They had children, who had children, who had children. Most of them were healthy and lived well into old age. Not terribly long ago, Martin Fugate's great-great-great-great grandson was born. The boy was as healthy as a newborn could be, but he did have one curious trait: dark blue skin, the color of a plum or denim blue jeans. The attending physicians were very concerned. Did the child have a blood disorder? The child's grandmother told them not to worry. Many of the Fugates had blue skin (Trost, 1982).
A young hematologist from the University of Kentucky was ...