Sociology of Deviance– Topic eating disorders as a deviant act

Due Date: Before Assignment 2, and anytime after the Midterm Quiz and before the Final Examination

Weight: 20% of total course grade

Length: Do not exceed four (4) pages in length; this page count does not include the title page and references page(s).


This first written assignment for the course is a proposal that outlines the topic that you will explore in Assignment 2: Research Paper. This proposal should indicate the significance of the topic to you and list the scholarly sources of information or databases that you will consult for your paper.


To find your topic, consult the list in the “Topic” section below, and identify the issue from the list that you think is most interesting and relevant in Canada today. Remember that it is always easier to write about something in which you have an interest. You will do initial work on your topic in this assignment—describing the issue, establishing a thesis statement, and identifying sources to use in your research—and then you will expand upon that work in Assignment 2.

This assignment should only be submitted after you have done some serious thinking about the topic and have located a body of available literature that you can use as a source of information for your research paper. Identify basic readings relevant to the topic. The sources you consult should all be academic, peer-reviewed sources. Use professional journal articles or books (i.e., peer-reviewed articles from online or print journals, scholarly books from academic publishers, or articles in edited collections). Do not use articles from non-peer-reviewed journals, newspapers, or magazines. You should identify at least four (4) peer-reviewed journal articles in your proposal (and keep in mind that for the essay itself you will need to refer to at least eight (8) such articles). List these sources in a provisional reference list (in APA format) and include that reference list in the assignment.

In the body of the proposal, answer the following question: What do you think is either the most important or the most interesting issue of deviance in Canada today? Describe what that issue is (i.e., what your chosen topic is) and why you think it is important or interesting. Briefly note how sociological theory can help us to understand the issue.

You must include a thesis statement near the beginning of your proposal that is clear and declarative. Your essay for Assignment 2 will revolve around this thesis statement, so it will be to your benefit to give it careful consideration at this stage. Research the proper format for a thesis statement, and ask your tutor for feedback on your thesis statement. You must obtain your tutor’s approval of your thesis statement before you proceed with the assignment.

Your assignment must be completed in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) style, which is the predominant style for writing and for documenting sources in the social sciences. There are many good online resources to provide you with information on APA formatting and citation guidelines. One of the best is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) . In addition, the course homepage contains links to many resources, including the AU Write Site, that can provide with you with assistance. Formatting and style comprise 10% of the overall grade in this assignment.

Your assignment must begin with an APA-style title page and end with an APA-style reference list (which must begin on a new page). For clarity, your title page and reference list are not part of the 4-page limit for the assignment.


Your assignment must address one of the following topics. No outside topics will be permitted for this essay.

  • Deviance in the military or the police
  • Pathological/unhealthy lifestyles (e.g., eating disorders, obesity, smoking) or addictive lifestyles (e.g., drug use/addiction/alcoholism/binge drinking, compulsive gambling)
  • Social deviance: graffiti art, free-running, parkour, buildering, and other street stunts; squatters, homeless people, and freemen of the land; political demonstrators (antiwar, global justice, environmental, animal rights, Indigenous, economic [e.g., Occupy], etc.)
  • Young offenders
  • Sexual and gender minorities: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, intersex, asexual, queer, and cross-dressing people
  • Deviant sexual careers (e.g., prostitution, massage parlors, exotic dancing, stripping, etc.), sex trafficking, and sexual exploitation
  • Deviance among politicians and government or other public officials (e.g., elected and unelected public officials, whistleblowers, politicians, senators, MLAs, MPs, mayors, school trustees, etc.)
  • Corporate crime (e.g., white-collar crime, investment banking, environmental exploitation/pollution, exploitation of labour, workplace health and safety / industrial accidents)
  • Computer hackers / cyber crime
  • Cheaters: school (college) cheating, tax cheating, or spousal- or child-support cheating
  • Deviant sexual behaviours (e.g., child molestation / pedophilia, rape, sexual sadism, serial monogamy or philandering, pornography, etc.)
  • Mentally disordered individuals or medically stigmatized individuals (e.g., individuals who are HIV-positive)
  • The mafia / organized crime syndicates
  • Gangs: racial/ethnic gangs, biker gangs 
  • Terrorism and state terrorism
  • Abuse (e.g., elder abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual harassment, and bullying—including cyber bullying, school bullying, and workplace bullying—and assault such as “knockout game” or “happy slapping”)
  • Road rage
  • Hate crimes (e.g., racial, ethnic, religious, homophobic, etc.)
  • Paradox of social norms: when one person’s “deviance” is another person’s “human rights” or “alternative lifestyle” (e.g., debates over same-sex marriage, abortion, in vitro fertilization, euthanasia, the wearing of religious symbols/clothing in public places or by public employees, free expression (or hate crime) in favour or condemnation of particular religious or secular values, etc.)

Marking Scheme

Introduction / statement of issue 10
 Elaboration of the issue and theoretical contexts 25
 Discussion of why the issue is important 25
 Discussion of how sociology can help with understanding the issue 25
 Formatting, in-text citations, and references 5
 Structure and organization 5
Total 100