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Title: Ideology and deviance
Author: Sumner, Colin S.
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1976
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The work herein is essentially an exploration into social theory. This theoretical re-search was precipitated by my dissatisfaction with a semiological analysis of the press reporting of political demonstrations, which I worked on for 6 months in 1973. My critique of that analysis is presented in chapter five. A more fundamental driving force was my concern with the importance of dominant ideology. I soon discovered that Marxian analysis has tended to neglect ideology as an objective force in social history. The thesis constantly refers itself to the need for historical research on the social origins, forms and functions of ideology. Initially, I was attempting to establish a satisfactory paradigm in the sociology of deviance. Extant theories proved to be inadequate and Hirst's critique offered little. However, I found that Hirst implicitly reconceptualised deviance in a way that corresponded with my own nascent ideas; as a form of ideological formation. The search for a theory of ideology and a theory of deviance thus became doubly important. Hence, the thesis has three main objects: (a.) the concept of deviance, (b) the concept of ideology, and (c) a theorised reading of ideologies in discursive materials. I have concluded that the essence of deviance is as a social censure (a type of ideological formation reflecting collisions in class practices), that ideology is, in Marxian analysis, the structure of consciousness, and that one can only rationally read an ideology from a discursive text when one has a theory of its specificity and of the forms of appearance of its referent. In the process of the investigation I was forced to try to re-think the major concepts of science, class, dominant ideology, law, crime and social practice, and to develop the new concept of the ideological formation. The work can be seen as a prolegomenon to an historical analysis of political ideologies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available