This study in criminology, sociology, and the US Military, explores changes in the meaning and production of deviant populations in American military settings since 1941. It is designed to highlight the operation of an ethos of control as armed forces and society undergo historically unstable accommodation and conflict. The author examines time series data on organizational reaction to deviance in military settings ('Bad Paper Discharges,' courts-martial, and administrative controls) in light of central characteristics of military settings (the social composition of officer and enlisted ranks, force levels, technological changes in war hardware and the distribution of risks faced by various kinds of soldiers).
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Propositions from the deviance literature concerning 1) the constancy of punishment, 2) the duration, intensity, and priority of sanctioning, and 3) cohesion and stress are examined in military contexts to discern the changing social control climates therein.
Some sources of the shift are located in the role that risk plays in the system and the function of the officer corps as agents of social control.
In short: the character of social institutions is knowable, in part, by studying the manner in which deviants therein are controlled, stigmatized and expelled.
Grad students in the social sciences are under intense pressure to write articles, and they need data. Organizational Reaction to Social Deviance: The Military Case is jam-packed with hard-to-find data that Sociology departments and research librarians will appreciate. As the Table of Contents immediately shows, the book provides data on the US military that are both rare and hard to pull together.
The 50-page bibliography is particularly valuable as the author set out, as one of his objectives, to define the rather exotic and highly-specialized field of military sociology so as to make it available to deviance researchers and criminologists.
Scholars who teach (or create anthologies) will see that many of the chapters stand alone and are suitable for inclusion in a Reader and/or for classroom/seminar adoption.
The data in the book and the authors arguments make this a major reference work. One can disagree with arguments but to do so the relevant research literature is required.