UNTIMELY ACTS: Extending the Interactionist Conception of Deviance

William A. Reese, Michael A. Katovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Interactionists and labelling theorists have made actors central to a jointly constructed process of deviance. This article extends their arguments to the deviant act itself and suggests how uses and conceptions of time and temporality distinguish deviant acts from routine or other unconventional acts. It treats time systematically in relation to designations of deviance by, first, correlating timing with temporal structures; second, comparing and contrasting deviant acts with untoward and anomalous acts; third, discussing nine temporal dimensions involved in the construction of deviant acts by illustrating how diagnosticians identify problematic drinking; fourth, elaborating the use of these dimensions to deviance in general and to issues of legal and “universal wrongs” which imply a negotiated moral order in modern society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-184
Number of pages26
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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