Scandinavian C180: Norms and Deviants in Scandinavian Society

Instructor: Patrick Wen

Who decides what constitutes “deviance”?  Does the successful labeling of deviant behavior and the specialized treatment of deviants serve a specific function in society?  How do categories or definitions of deviance change in various historical or cultural contexts?  These are some of the questions that will animate our investigation into the social construction of norms and deviance. We will also examine properties of norms, of normatively governed conduct, of lay and professional methods for describing, producing, using and validating norms in contrasting settings of socially organized activities in the context of modern Scandinavian society. Using several Scandinavian films and written texts as our points of entry, we will then investigate how these narratives of normativity and deviance reflect cultural anxieties surrounding identity, ideology, memory and power relationships. Taught in English.