ABSTRACT

In this paper I would like to speculate about some of the problems raised by the blurring of the boundary lines between, on the one side, action usually labeled as “protest,” “unrest,” and “dissent,” and on the other, delinquency. I want to concentrate specifically on violent or disruptive behavior because this is where the blurring has become sharpest and the conceptual (and policy) problems, most acute. If such problems had not been forced upon us (as I believe they should have been) by taking the new “skeptical” perspective on deviance seriously, they have surely been forced upon us by the emergence of new forms of unrest and massive civil disorder, particularly in the United States and particularly on the campuses and in the black ghettos.