Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Social Deviance

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Encyclopedia of Social Deviance

Article excerpt

Encyclopedia of Social Deviance. Ed. by Craig J. Forsyth and Heith Copes. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2014. 2 vols. $315 (ISBN: 978-1-4522-4403-6).

The editors of the Encyclopedia of Social Deviance set out to create a work on social deviance that provided a broad and comprehensive set of entries written by top scholars in the field. While the editors sought out to be as inclusive as possible, given that the behaviors that fall under the label of deviant are wide ranging and always changing, it would be impossible to be completely inclusive and exhaustive. They focused on theoretical, philosophical, methodological, and substantive topics.

Like all encyclopedias, the Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, is arranged alphabetically. The only standardization in the 313 entries is that they each have a "see also", in which they direct readers to other entries within the encyclopedia, and they each end with a list of citations for further reading. The entries have been written by top scholars in various discipline, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, criminology, politics, and religion. The Encyclopedia of Social Deviance also contains twenty-two thematic Reader's Guides. These guides group related entries by topic.

Due to the fact that the number of behaviors that can be labeled as deviant is nearly endless, the entries stick to those behaviors that have been traditionally labeled as deviant. Various criminal, drug related, and sex related behaviors are included. …

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