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Attentional Deviance

Attentional Deviance Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article-pdf/12/2/492/826474/492clark.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 19 April 2022 JONATHAN L. CLARK Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Ursinus College, USA ll communities have subtle and not-so-subtle ways of telling their members what to A pay attention to. When you ignore something you are supposed to pay attention to, or pay attention to something you are supposed to ignore, you are engaged in a deviant act. This “attentional deviance,” as sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel calls it, is not the kind of offense that will get you locked up. You will, however, experience mild forms of social control, even if it is just your colleague’s raised eyebrow when you mention the unconventional topic you are working on. Go ahead and tell someone you study road- kill, which happens to be one of my current projects, and you will see what I mean. Not that I am complaining. I am happy to play the role of “attentional deviant.” In fact, I consider it part of my job description. The job of a sociologist, as the old saying goes, is to make the familiar strange. This means questioning conventional thinking, or what “everybody knows,” including conventional thinking about what is worth study- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Humanities Duke University Press

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Copyright
© 2020 Jonathan L. Clark
ISSN
2201-1919
eISSN
2201-1919
DOI
10.1215/22011919-8623241
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/environmental-humanities/article-pdf/12/2/492/826474/492clark.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 19 April 2022 JONATHAN L. CLARK Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Ursinus College, USA ll communities have subtle and not-so-subtle ways of telling their members what to A pay attention to. When you ignore something you are supposed to pay attention to, or pay attention to something you are supposed to ignore, you are engaged in a deviant act. This “attentional deviance,” as sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel calls it, is not the kind of offense that will get you locked up. You will, however, experience mild forms of social control, even if it is just your colleague’s raised eyebrow when you mention the unconventional topic you are working on. Go ahead and tell someone you study road- kill, which happens to be one of my current projects, and you will see what I mean. Not that I am complaining. I am happy to play the role of “attentional deviant.” In fact, I consider it part of my job description. The job of a sociologist, as the old saying goes, is to make the familiar strange. This means questioning conventional thinking, or what “everybody knows,” including conventional thinking about what is worth study-

Journal

Environmental HumanitiesDuke University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2020

References