The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior

The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior

The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior

The Routledge Handbook of Deviant Behavior


The Handbook of Deviant Behaviorpresents a comprehensive, integrative, and accessible overview of the contemporary body of knowledge in the field of social deviance in the twenty-first century.

This book addresses the full range of scholarly concerns within this area - including theoretical, methodological, and substantive issues - in over seventy original entries, written by an international mix of recognized scholars. Each of these essays provides insight not only into the historical and sociological evolution of the topic addressed, but also highlights associated notable thinkers, research findings, and key published works for further reference. As a whole, this Handbook undertakes an in depth evaluation of the contemporary state of knowledge within the area of social deviance, and beyond this considers future directions and concerns that will engage scholars in the decades ahead.

The inclusion of comparative and cross-cultural examples and discussions, relevant case studies and other pedagogical features make this book an invaluable learning tool for undergraduate and post graduate students in disciplines such as criminology, mental health studies, criminal theory, and contemporary sociology.


The challenge of trying to compress a contemporary overview of the field of deviant behavior into one reference volume is formidable. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior, published by Brunner-Routledge in 2001, required four volumes and approximately 2,000 pages, in excess of 500 entries, and more than 500 authors and co-authors to present a truly comprehensive survey of the field of deviant behavior at the beginning of the 21st century. At the end of the decade, we sought to accomplish much the same, albeit in a much more concise fashion. Obviously a high degree of selectivity was used in choosing topics to cover, and in chapter authors as well. The Handbook of Deviant Behavior includes 71 chapter topics that we feel will adequately inform the reader in regard to the contemporary state of the sub-discipline. The chapter topics were carefully assembled. This process involved a review of the initial preliminary list of topics by a set of very accomplished outside reviewers, who provided very generous input and many suggestions.

After the outline and list of chapter topics were finalized, I then identified, recruited, and assembled a very distinguished and informed international group of scholars in the field of deviance to serve as members of an advisory board for the Handbook project, and they provided many suggestions regarding topics and possible authors.

After reviewing all of the ideas and suggestions from the advisory board editors, a final list of 71 chapter topics was compiled. These editors provided very helpful comments in regard to the selection of authors. Invitations were extended and, in time, all chapters were assigned.

The 71 chapter topics were arranged into 15 parts, each addressing a seminal area in deviant behavior. Part I, “Conceptualizing Deviance,” examines the nature of deviance, including social control, the construction and deconstruction of deviance, positive deviance, social change and deviance, differentials in deviance, and moral panics.

Part II, “Research Methodology in Studying Deviance,” looks at quantitative, qualitative, cross-cultural, and historical research techniques. All of these techniques are currently being employed in deviance research.

Part III, “Theories of Deviance,” surveys the array of theoretical perspectives on deviant behavior that drive research on this topic. Eleven chapters on theories of deviance make this part quite comprehensive.

Part IV, “Becoming Deviant as a Process,” explores the dynamics of entering deviance, the social impact of stigma and the resultant deviant identity, and how the deviant career proceeds.

Part V, “Deviant Lifestyles and Subcultures,” explores both generic and particularistic perspectives on deviant lifestyles and deviant subcultures. The generic chapters explore the concepts of deviant lifestyle and subculture. The particularistic chapters describe the transgender lifestyle and the Hassidim subculture in Israel.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.