• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Predatory Violence
Predatory violence
Introduction: The Social Construction of Murder and Violence

One of the facts of the human condition is that people die. Some of these deaths are caused by factors that seem to be beyond the immediate and direct control of human beings, unrelated to human intent or motivation. These deaths are officially classified in the United States as either “accidental” or “natural.” Certain other deaths, however, are deemed to result from deliberate human acts, some of which are considered malicious and unnecessary. The individuals responsible for them can be subjected to punishments for what they have done. These illegal killings are called murder. (Aggravated assaults are unlawful attacks for the purpose of inflicting severe injury on an individual.) Murder is defined by the Federal ...

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