The American Sociologist

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 90–104

Round up the usual suspects: Crime, deviance, and the limits of constructionism

  • Erich Goode

DOI: 10.1007/BF02691992

Cite this article as:
Goode, E. Am Soc (1994) 25: 90. doi:10.1007/BF02691992


In the 1960s and early 1970s, the sociological study of deviance underwent a sharp break in orientation; many observers in the field began to shift their focus away from an examination of etiology to the study of social control. Examining the social construction of deviance and crime to the exclusion of crucial and unavoidable material features that cannot be defined away lead to certain conclusions that could not be sustained and were vulnerable to successful challenge from later approaches. The lives and work of Frank Tannenbaum, Jack Henry Abbott, and Alvin Gouldner, as well as the work of other labelists and Marxists, offer testimony to the limits of constructionism in the sociological study of deviance and crime.

Copyright information

© Springer 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erich Goode
    • 1
  1. 1.the department of sociologyState University of New YorkStony Brook