A Story of Positive Deviance


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AREA EDITOR EXAMPLE RESOURCE: This assignment is designed to have students examine the difference between positive and negative deviance. First, students will take notes on a PowerPoint explaining key terms such as deviance and symbolic interaction. Students will then read or listen to a primary source – the true story of Julio Diaz. The activity involves analysis of an article, participating in a related sociological experiment, and student application and synthesis of their thinking of our norms and our culture.


Resource Type(s):
Hayley Lauren Lotspeich
Chris Salituro 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
High School Sociology 
Class Level:
High School 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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This activity can be completed in a 50 minute class session. Depending upon whether you assign the essay or the online discussion post, you may wish to give students at least one week to conduct the experiment and compose their responses. You can view the text and listen to...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
1) Students will understand the difference between positive and negative deviance.2) Students will apply the knowledge of the concepts of positive and negative deviance to real world situations.
Assessment 1:
1) Students will take notes on a powerpoint explaining the terms.2) Students will write an essay or post a discussion thread defining the terms in their own words.
Goal 2:
4) Students will understand that kindness beyond the norm is considered positive deviance.5) Students will identify acts of positive deviance that they could act upon.
Assessment 2:
3) Students will apply the people in the reading/podcast to their understanding of the terms in an essay or podcast.4) Students will develop a list of possible acts of positive deviant acts and act upon one.
Goal 3:
6) Students will apply sociological imagination to determine how the activity shaped their thinking of norms and culture.
Assessment 3:
5 ) Students will recognize and record responses to the act (either in an essay or as a discussion post).6) Students will conclude their essay/discussion post with an account of how the experience influenced their thinking about norms and our culture.

Files for Download:

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A Victim Treats His Mugger Right - Blog.doc
A Victim Treats His Mugger Right - Essay.doc
Social Control and Deviance.ppt
Victim Treats His Mugger Right.mp3
Victim Treats His Mugger Right.ppt