Social Construction Of Deviance

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The Construction of Deviance:
This essay will explore the concept of deviance as a social construct, and how it has been used to justify the subjugation of certain communities. It will also show that the construction of deviant bodies, bodies that do not fit the mold of the normative body (white, middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual, ‘properly gendered’), is maintained and shaped by other categories of social identity such as race, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, class, and nationality.
In “Invention of Race”, by Dorothy Roberts, it is shared that race is not a biological category but it is a sociopolitical category, and that it was invented to divide humans. Race divided humans into two groups; those who were born to be masters (whites)
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This construction of the black African female body as deviant was used to justify their enslavement for both physical and reproductive labor. The concept of ‘proper female’ embodiment persisted into the post-colonial era.
The post-colonial era, most notably the 1950’s, is where deviance can be seen to be shaped by the intersecting social categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class. In “Constructing the Good Transsexual”, by Emily Skidmore, ‘proper female’ bodies came to be defined by the norms of white-womanhood, which was constituted on domesticity, respectability, heterosexuality, middle-classness, and whiteness (p.271). Christine Jorgensen, a white transwoman, was seen as an ‘authentic female’ because she embodied the norms of white-womanhood.
Unlike Jorgenson, Charlotte McLeod, another white transwoman of the 1950’s, was not seen as an ‘authentic female’ because she was not of middle-class status, thus failing to embody the norms of white-womanhood (Skidmore, p. 280). It was not until she married a man of middle-class status did she get to “inhabit the public identity of the good transsexual” (p. 281), enjoy the privileges of white-woman hood, and be seen as an ‘authentic
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