Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Professor William B. Shaffir
This dissertation begina from one central claim about the understanding of social life - that the unit of analysis most appropriate for the task of sociology is the joing act (Blumer, 1969). If we are to understand social life, then we must take our social science to people and their accomplishments.
My research attend to one specific set of accomplishments: the designation of the objects of our worlds as appropriate or inappropriate. This, I argue, is the essential quality of the social dramas which accompany the designation of deviance. This extended process of promoting definitions of the appropriate and the inappropriate, I refer to as the process of championing. Championing is built upon the accomplishments of Becker's (1973) labeling theory, yet carries with it a critique of this tradition. Championing is my attempt to examine the generic dimensions of deviance designation.
My theoretical claims find their empirical application in a study of one group of champions - the actors who comprise the Christian Heritage Party of Canada. Within this group we find those who promote their religious based definitions of the way the world ought to be within the setting of Canadian electoral policies. My research examines the activities and perspective of these actors. Attending to deviance designation as accomplished action, my work examines the perspectives of actors, their careers of involvements, the symbolic relevances of political policy, and the sales dimensions of political recruitment.
My work is derived from a phenomenological interactionism. It confronts the social world with a methodology of participant observation and interview and a naturalistic respect for an understanding of life as it is lived. The sociology of deviance is a sociology of everyday life.
Grills, Charles Scott, "Designating Deviance: Championing Definitions of the Appropriate and the Inappropriate Through a Christian Political Voice" (1989). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1806.