The Emergence of Deviant Minorities

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Parallel with the -surfacing of ethnic and deviant minorities- has been a concern in government with investigating the claims of these minorities. It is these commission reports that form the basis of this volume of selections. Such reports are, the most thorough surveys presently available of the life styles, goals, problems, opinions, etc., of todays ethnic and deviant minorities. It has long been maintained that ethnic minorities often resort to deviancy from societal norms as a means of achieving their aims; today it is the deviant groups that are adopting group rhetoric and goals and that are asking for first-class citizenship. Of course not all deviants have staked a claim to minority status. The thesis of this volume applies primarily to -moral entrepreneurs, - the people sometimes termed -victimless offenders.- These include sex deviates such as homosexuals, prostitutes, and pornographers, whose -victims- are typically consenting adults. Drug offenders are also included, but those who use illegal drugs rather than sellers of drugs, because victimization for drug users per se is, at best, oneself. For somewhat the same reason, drunkeness offenders, who currently constitute one-third of the country's jail population are also included. These young people labeled -juvenile delinquents, - the ones whose commitment of such victimless offenses as running away, truancy, incorrigibility, violation of curfew, has been their point of entrance into the juvenile justice system, are also included. Following somewhat the same logic we may also include a -convicted minority- consisting of all convicts who have developed minority-like subcultures both in and outside of prison (or other institutions). In sum, the people whose morality or whose ways of life bring them into conflict with the law and values of society and who are coming out into the open to assert the validity--or at least the right to existence--of the value system they subscribe to.