Sex, Drugs and Public Hangings
A series by Spiralbound.net on social deviance and punishment in the United States and Europe
Whether walking down the sidewalk of a busy American city, or sitting in a cafe, all one has to do is listen for a short while to learn how many people in the United States feel about issues relating to social deviance, and more specifically, the actual individuals of society who constitute the deviants. It is common, for instance, to hear statements like “Why should I have to pay for someone else’s laziness?”, “I’m glad they executed that sick, sick man!”, or “If we provide condoms for free, we will be encouraging our children to have sex.” Clearly, not all Americans feel this way; to say that they do would be the gravest of logical fallacies! However, the individualist manner in which many Americans tend to view the unpleasantries of dealing with social deviance lead me to the question of exactly how citizens of various countries feel about resolving social problems.
Using survey data collected from the Plymouth State College community, and European Usenet newsgroups, This research compares the answers of American and European subjects to a host of questions addressing how they feel the government of their respective country should deal with the “deviant people” of society. Expecting to find Americans substantially more conservative than Europeans, opportunity was also given for the respondents to provide their own verbiage about the circumstances under which social policy relating to deviance would be acceptable.