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Deviant Heroes: Nonconformists as Agents of Justice and Social Change

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
Deviant Heroes: Nonconformists as Agents of Justice and Social Change
Abstract
Sociologists usually define deviance as a fluid construct, relative to given social circumstances, and something that is neither negative nor positive in and of itself. Despite the rejection of absolutist approaches, the vast majority of texts and studies concerning deviant behavior implicitly or explicitly present deviance as either a morally bad or morally neutral behavior. Such literatures wrongly conflate deviant behavior with villainous actions. We argue that some of the most important deviants have been at the leading forefront of positive social change and the creation of a more just, fair, and humane society. Deviant heroes are those individuals who violate unjust norms and laws, facing the repercussions of social control, while simultaneously effecting positive social change. This article considers the theoretical role of the deviant hero within classical and contemporary sociological traditions and identifies new directions for social research.
Publication
Deviant Behavior
Volume
33
Issue
8
Pages
639-654
Date
July 3, 2012
DOI
10.1080/01639625.2011.647587
ISSN
0163-9625
Short Title
Deviant Heroes
Accessed
2014-10-07T07:49:04Z
Library Catalog
Taylor and Francis+NEJM
Citation
Wolf, B., & Zuckerman, P. (2012). Deviant Heroes: Nonconformists as Agents of Justice and Social Change. Deviant Behavior, 33(8), 639–654. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2011.647587