Activism versus Elitism: Reexamination of the Battle in Seattle

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Kim Richardson/SBCC
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Activism versus Elitism: Reexamination of the Battle In Seattle

Santa Barbara City College: Sociology 106 with Professor Helen Meloy (Spring 2009)
Written by Kim Richardson

I. Introduction: Elite deviance can unravel the very fabric of society but through social movements, norms may be reestablished through cultural dynamism in which individuals find identity again as people converge to interpret the situation.

When leaders and builders of society become the Greek definition of anomie, a- without and nomos- law, stratified societies begin losing status. As a response to the absence of social norms, levels of distrust increase and the intensity of cognitive dissonance become problematic. The coping mechanism in mass societies often falls into compliance, which can be viewed as secondary deviance. (Liska A. 1., Perspectives on Deviance 2nd ed./The Structural/Functional Perspective, Spring 2009, p. 180)[1] Within social movements, these traits are often catalysts for the formation of oppressed or suppressed groups, in the form of social activism. Their purpose is to re-weave into the fabric of society, morals and values for social change.

With elite deviance, social entities, such as communities, families and individuals reach an anomie as norms start to erode through alienation and devocalization. Perhaps it is a reason such personal behaviors, like denial and isolation exist. More specifically, societal reactions are the modes of adaption by Robert Merton’s anomie theory; conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion, which are usually a preservation response of defenselessness. (Collin) In elite deviance, corruption, fraud, and deception runs its course and beyond but Merton’s anomie and strain theory are generally applied in criminal justice studies, which focuses on the individual and personality. The general solution in a broad population and in the functional mode is when punishment is swiftly, severely and publicly acknowledged.

Eric Goode in his chapter, What Is Deviance?, he explains definitions of deviance and normative deviance may be a way for society to define elite deviance in its corporate structure. Attainment in that culture is often acquired by norm violations of the general populous’ cultural values. According to Goode, normative deviance also implies relativity, where an action or condition that may be in conformity with the norm in one place or time may violate it in another. (Goode, Spring 2009) While defining reactive deviance, Goode also explains that normative theorists believe that deviance can take place or exist in secret and that if nobody knows about it except the violator, it is no less a violation of norms. (Goode, Spring 2009, p. 17) In elite deviance this seems to be the standard of operation.

When confronting elite deviance, social movements can be deterred by mainstream perspectives and attitudes. One example being the study of deviance and its emphasis on individuality and personal traits that distract scholars, law makers and heads of states from the control, corruption, negligence and demoralization of larger social entities. This is explained in Goode’s section, Is Deviance about Nuts, Sluts and Deviated Perverts? His concern was with the distraction of primary deviance in individual acts versus the unethical and damaging practices of the rich and the powerful. For Goode, the study of deviation focused on stigma instead of the process of domination, the exercise of power and the revolt against injustice. (Goode, Spring 2009, p. 25)

The definitions of Goode’s reactive deviance are that first it must be observed and then secondly, condemned or punished. Reactive deviance can also be considered conformity and obedience, seen in Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford prison study. The study also explored the pathology of power, that’s defined as the “freedom to exercise an unprecedented degree of control over the lives of other human beings.” (Honey, Spring 2009) The key word here, I struggle with is “unprecedented”. In the age of technology’s widespread ability to inform the public, we are entering an era where elite deviance is truly being observed or heard about, for many for the very first time. Undoubtedly and realistically, on the grand scale of corruptive and wrongful acts of the elite, is, for the most part historically modern. “Modern” referring to that it has not existed to the degrees of the past in terms of scandalous, immoral and unethical domination, Goode’s idea of the relativity is critical for the formation of activists and their vision for the future. In this, a small reference to globalization should be acknowledged as it is a relatively new 20th century concept and elite deviance concerns not just one area of the world but the entire globe.

II. Research Questions

Under what conditions does a social movement exist?

Under what conditions does a social movement, such as the Battle in Seattle affect elite deviance?

The assumptions are that elite deviance is an ultimate corruption that can destroy society with greed, immorality and deception. Currently, corporatization is the ruling class and in conjunction, at times with the political class. Both filter down unethical behavior to the very core of society. This power can renders citizens to feel and become helpless. In the words of Edmond Burke, “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” and “The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”. (Burke, 2009)[2] Burke was known for his American and Indian sympathy and his literary works were considered fundamental for US government in its conception. His ideals and critical analysis in the politics of the late 1700’s, is quite pertinent to the relationship of elite deviance and society of today.

Social movements are not created by government but by the people of that government. The capital exchange within a social movement is giving and receiving of accounts in social interactions (ironically this idea was found in John Curra’s chapter, The Relativity of Predatory Violence). (Curra, 2000) Today’s post-modern exchange may concert mass media news but more recently, social networking and blogging has been the cultural exchange for information. This discord, if ignored or unregulated is what creates discomfort, distrust and dissonance within society. However, the more information is found on elite deviance the more it resonates with the average citizen who might have thought they were unaffected.

This is similar in thought to the conflict theory of Austin T. Turk’s works, which explains conflict between those who have power (authorities) to control behavior and those who do not (subject) in coordinated relationships (institutions). (Liska A. 1., Perspectives on Deviance/The Conflict Perspective, p. 210) Here there’s differential in the cultural values of stratified society, in the middle class, they rarely struggle over abstractions or behaviors, like Turk states. However, it is not that they are not struggling financially but by the means of maintaining stability is not directed in action that leans towards deviance. Generally, the middle class are the good of society who don’t deviate to abnormal behavior or violate social norm. The middle class represents the “institutions” described here. The upper middle class and middle class, in the funnel effect explains the social construct of reality for these groups of people in society as the reference group for the ideal in our standard of living. (Meloy, 2009)

III. Review of the Literature

A. Fast forward to the 20th century, the battle that ensued in Seattle’s 1999 protest was intended to acknowledge the various corrupt and unethical policies of the WTO (World Trade Organization). Other agendas were labor issues, the environment and consumer protection as a collaborative effort for the people of Seattle regarding awareness; however some exceeded this with rebellion that bordered on revolt of the masses. It was a failed demonstration of our basic Constitutional right to assemble along with the First Amendment, freedom of speech. In retrospect, 10 years later, some of the protest was a reenactment of the social movement of the 1960’s, the era of when it was hip to dissent. The context of civil disobedience and its revival was in many ways a longing for days long gone and of the past. In theory, the works of Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience should resonate in our conscious minds concerning elite deviance but in examination of the extent of corruption among the powerful elite, Thoreau’s answer might be more astute. Wikipedia states, “Thoreau is frequently quoted as espousing that the true place for a just man is in prison.” (Wikipedia, Henry David Thoreau, 2009)

Unfortunately, the Battle in Seattle resulted in just that. It escalated into a riot with police power dominating the situation resulting in the use of tear gas, pepper spray, concussion grenades and rubber bullets and over 600 arrests of nonviolent protesters. According to reports, media personnel trying to do their jobs were arrested as well in the midst of chaos. Citizens were detained on buses for over 20 hours, peeing in cups, most of these people refused to identify themselves. (SF, 2008) Aside from the stance of some groups, (vast variety of organizations were comingled in this “coop”), there were some that had legitimate standing in perspective of issues being discussed at the WTO’s conference. The AFL-CIO had some successful rallies showing disapproval of the talks and rallying together in solidarity.

B. However, many others got wind (perhaps through rumors) of corruption, unethical and scandalous topics and went to protest or to participate. Dancing in the streets before serious talks might have been protesting for some but to me it seemed a bit satirical. While watching the video in class, I couldn’t help but think of the hippy sit-ins of the sixties. It seemed to trivialize the situation and reinforce the idea that people are out of touch or not exactly living in the present. I found some of the people in the footage to be disruptive of the original task of protesting or resisting elite deviance. Concerning perspective, Shibutani’s work reflects much of my own philosophical thinking. He explores the context of our lives as such, “the environment in which men live is an order of things remembered and expected as well as of things actually perceived. It includes assumptions of what is plausible and what is possible. Without such an order life would be chaotic; even doubts become possible only within an unquestioned frame of reference. Mutual understanding and concerted action become possible only when presuppositions are held in common, but perspectives vary in the extent to which they are shared with other people.” (Shibutani, Spring 2009, p. 148) Goal setting might be a good example and though the intentions of those in protest of the WTO’s conference, it seems as though the solidarity was missing, the vast differences in concerns of organizations that marched can enumerate the amounts of social alarms affecting the US and world but the disorganization of the events in Seattle seemed to just portray rioters in the street (often at fault of mass media).

IV. Methodology

In research for this paper, at the last minute I decided to discuss social activism after viewing the video in class, Battle in Seattle. I found that much of what we have been learning all semester, somehow equated to what was going on there. It is elite deviance that is so troubling for me as one who is deeply affected by institutions. In addition to struggling with interpersonal deviance that’s affected my whole childhood, where victimology has my personal cross to bear, I’ve always wondered why my intentions were never fruitful. In elite deviance, I see victims across the globe, I aim to understand it.

V. Application of Theoretical Framework

Ironically, perception in the definition of situation that Shibutani explores, involves the future predictability of events or even emotions. Here is textbook Herbert Mead on social psychology:

“Our experience of the self is one which is an experience of a world, of an object. The subject does involve the object in order that we may recognize that the subject is essential to there being an object present. According to our scientific conception, the world has arisen through millions of years, only in the last moments of which have there been any living forms; an only in the second of these moments have there been any human forms. The world was there long before the subjects appeared”. (Strauss, p. 15)

In accordance to defining a social movement and its history, the comparison function of Shibutani’s works should be viewed in the context of mass societies, pluralistic groups; “[This builds] on Dewey, Park and Sapir emphasizing that society exists in and through communication. Shared perspectives are the products of common communication channels. Variations in outlook arise through differential contact and association; the maintenance of social distance- through segregation, conflict or simply reading different literature- leads to the formation of distinctive cultures.” (Shibutani, p. 150) For effective social change, the sharing of information resources and the depth of analysis is essential in mass cultures.

The news flash of events in Seattle’s WTO protest seemed to miss the radar, perhaps because of other concerns filtered through the media like, the Y2K scare or jubilance for the fact that the century was turning ushering the year- 2000. The historical outlook of big events, such as riots, cool down quickly in main stream media and often leaving the residual effects for educators, scholars and thinkers to sift through. The saying, “Tomorrow’s headlines is quickly yesterday’s news” shows the relativity of time and space and that somewhere in-between, we’ve missed a whole day of news. Nonetheless, a quick breakdown of events after Seattle’s battle in 1999 transpired in changes of law enforcement’s public policies and how to handle such incidents in the future.

Eventually, the aftermath resulted in the resignation of Seattle’s police chief, Norm Stamper (who admits wrong decision making), continued worldwide protests of the WTO, IMF/World Bank and NAFTA and other issues concerning globalization. In 2007, a federal jury found that the City of Seattle had violated protester’s Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, concerning arrests without probable cause or hard evidence. (Wikipedia, World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1999 protest activity, 2009) US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman previously ruled the same as the jury. According to Seattle Times Local News, jurors were asked to determine if the city violated protesters’ First Amendment rights to free speech and their Fourth Amendment rights protecting them from unlawful search and seizure. Their findings were that the city violated citizens Fourth Amendment right from unlawful detainment without probable cause but did not find that the First Amendment right to free speech was violated. The arrests were not made as a result of city policy aimed at quieting anti-WTO viewpoints. (Bowermaster, 2007) Many were charged with failure to disperse and other misdemeanor accounts.

As a case study, it is important to review the incident in Seattle. The way the City of Seattle handled the crisis in its aftermath with litigation and law, enforce the ideals of protest in its pure form, remembering social change requires civility. The jurors’ decision restored faith in the Bill of Rights which highly defines our citizenship and our views of how US government is supposed to be. The city paid over $800,000 in multiple claims concerning police misconduct. Aside from the residual costs of city cleanup and police overtime, the damages to local businesses from vandalism and lost sales equated to 20 million dollars. The British House of Commons seemed to think the city clean-up was 9 million and lightly poked fun at the fact. Researchers stated in Millennium Trade Talks and the ‘Battle in Seattle’ report that:

· The US delegation was angry because its hard line on workers right’s had flopped;
· Developing countries were angry with the US, which had, in their view, tried to support big corporations like Boeing at their expense;
· The street protesters were angry that their “stop the WTO” campaign had actually worked rather too well;
· Angriest of all were the Seattle authorities who had a $9 million bill for cleaning up the town afterwards. (Hillyard, 1999)[3]

Micro Theories

In criminology, those theories are relative to the history of the criminal justice system, which is relatively new in light of modern civilization, particularly mass societies as a social institution. The various schools of thought range their findings from biological, physiological, psychological and sociological factors. Social class, ecology and social disorganization are often reiterated in criminal motivation. With the idea of rationalization in criminal behavior, the individual self can be held accountable as a weights and measures approach to consequences. In respect to these theories, it is important to observe police entities as a subgroup of society. They are also required to be held responsible as well as reflective in their actions as a group, particularly due to reputation. If a police force wants to be seen as a good force in the community, their actions must reflect dependability and sense of duty to community and those involved. In essence, their social construct requires them to act accordingly. It is a structural/functional perspective, meaning police forces have a high level of social or normative consensus and norm violations are definable. (Liska A. 1., Perspectives on Deviance 2nd ed./The Structural/Functional Perspective, p. 282) Also, police and community can join forces as functional groups that build symbolic interaction, similar to one on one in interpersonal relationships; the idea here though is similar to Erving Goffman’s concept of impression management of a subgroup as a whole. (Meloy, 2009)

The precursor for the Battle in Seattle and police response would be the Rodney King riots that occurred in 1992, seven years earlier. The video footage of the beating opened eyes as well as scrutiny in police misconduct. The public response after the jury acquitted the officers involved was nothing but a ruckus that involved further violence and destruction of property. Yet within all the contention, a mass mob occurred, by a public decree and a communal statement that people were frustrated and enough was enough. The ideas of racial inequality can be defined as the “enough”. In the Rodney King riot, social change was not motivation to act like that of the Battle in Seattle. It was the residual effects of the social movement of the sixties, the Civil Rights era. The Civil Rights era is still in effect and racial relations have been in discourse for some 50 years now and still going. It is not decades or years that define a movement either. It is about effective leadership and responsibility of mistakes or errors. The combination of activists, organized protests, dissenters, nonconformists and rebels in one place is a recipe for chaos. Usually they have different agendas and making sense of it is the difficult part. In the Battle in Seattle, I’d say that previous conditions in Seattle’s changing work force and economy were the divisive/decisive/derisive nature for many to make a stand but I found that common ground was not clearly identified from an outsider’s viewpoint. However, Seattle’s citizens did make the point that they wanted to make, which was to be the “Protest of the Millennium.”

It is also important to have a spatial outlook for a real social movement to progress. I would refer here to the issue of gay marriages as well as homosexual/lesbian relations in society. These issues are a social movement in degrees of individuality. It is not one that can appear instantaneously, simply by the fact that discourse has not been previously established. One can’t wake one day and state, “I’m gay and have rights”. Your rights were already established, it is in wake that one is gay that acclamation and assimilation of sexual preferences into a heterosexual society or the norms of that group that is in conflict. For many gay and lesbian people, issues’ concerning their sexuality is a social movement but I’d consider it an ex post facto movement that really lies in the heart of men as moral debate. In research, I came across an unknown author with some intriguing insight concerning the social construction of reality:

It took another peculiar event to change the fear of inherited errors into a positive doctrine; that was the Great French Revolution of 1789, or more precisely the conservative response to it. The basic point made by, for instance, Edmund Burke, was that it was neither possible nor desirable to start from scratch, from tabulæ rasæ, as (according to the conservatives) the philosophes and the revolutionaries had tried to do. We are, after all, not blank slates, we do not evolve our thought out of pure abstraction, but inherit our modes of thought and categories from our ancestors; our intellect as much as our institutions and our feelings are part of a vast social fabric, stretching back into a literally immemorial past. So we can't start from scratch; but we can modify our inheritance. Yet (the conservative argument continues) that inheritance is the product of millennia of sifting and winnowing; however imperfect it may be, it has in fact endured and worked for a very long time, and as such is not to be lightly tampered with, much less completely rejected in favor of very recent and very speculative, hence very uncertain, substitutes, especially not when serious matters of human life and happiness are at stake. (Systems, N/A)

As a heterosexual, I approach the question of gay marriages. It is not about equal rights or moral issues but my sense of historical interpretation of civilization which is based around the institution of marriage involving the idea of procreation. Yes, gay/lesbian couples have the right to children and some with ability to procreate as well but the ideas of masculine and feminine in context to male and female differences that combined for the purpose of procreating. It seems like a missing equation in same sex marriages. It is not that same sex couples can’t raise healthy functional families but for me it is a violation of cyclic reciprocity, similar to yin yang. Also, it seems more like a violation of my perception of time regarding historical rhetoric concerning norms of male and female relationships. Perhaps my definition goes beyond modern concepts and conventions of today but that is what my issue is for legalizing same sex marriages. Basically, I’m requiring more discourse before I can reach esthetic distance according to Scheff’s Theory- Flow Chart. (Scheff's, Spring 2009)

However, my viewpoint is esthetical compared to legal rights to be taxed equally or represented by contracts equally. As previously stated, a person who wakes up one day and states, “I’m gay and I have rights” should understand that they always had those same rights. I had thought that domestic partner laws addressed these issues but I could be mistaken. In the arguments for gay marriages, it seems as though they do not. If this is the case, then maybe readjusting domestic partner laws should be changed. Regardless, the issue is not about sexual identity or even biological differences because like cultural diversities, I believe in biological diversity as well. An important point that Berger and Luckmann state in The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise On The Sociology of Knowledge is that social order is not part of the "nature of things," and it cannot be derived from the "laws of nature." Social order exists only as a product of human activity. (Berger, 1966) Nonetheless, I must address that these personalized issues on our individualism or sexuality does distract us from the bigger picture. In light of recent political scandals, wars that are annihilating inhabitants of this planet (like Darfur), environmental issues, like global warming and the decentralizing our government in favor of privatization, my views on gay marriage is rather banal.

So is homosexuality a secondary deviance and does labeling theory apply here? I rather state that, like previously said the issue is not homosexuality or who identifies themselves to it, but in the labeling theory, the idea of misinformation, ignorance and lack of knowledge of the issue is pertinent. (Liska A. , Spring 2009) Elite deviance is a real issue that needs to be understood, addressed and confronted for social harmony. All other implications of deviance seem secondary to me. Returning to Turk’s work on the conflict theory, he states, “Subjects are defined as sophisticated when their knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of authorities enables them to manipulate authorities, thereby allowing them to violate authority norms without open conflict”. (Liska A. 1., Perspectives on Deviance/The Conflict Perspective, Spring 2009, p. 211) Here is the theory of fight fire with fire; any firefighter knows that controlled fires are effective methods of curtailing larger ones.

In recent years, firefighters have learned to “read” fires and their paths as well as reconnaissance the scene, by object, location and origin. In some ways, an effective social movement should learn its path first before acting. For a social movement to engage battle with elitist groups organizations and individuals must understand the same things, like identifiers, in Shibutani’s definition of the situation, he’d consider that as criteria, perhaps we are in need of more criteria to combat elite deviance. (Shibutani, Spring 2009) Rome was not built in a day but it was destroy within weeks, basically what’s been done cannot simply be undone. Curra details it more in section, The Social Construction of Reality, restating Berger and Luckmann, “humans construct so much of the reality within which they live that it is difficult to identify one reality that exists for all people….because most social encounters that people have a typical and ordinary, they do not call into question the taken-for-granted nature of human experience and the apparent objectivity of social reality is continually reaffirmed in every interaction.” (Curra, 2000, pp. 7-8) This leads to the attitudes and perspective for the general public concerning elite deviance. It is similar in thought to Leon Festinger’s theory on cognitive dissonance, where individuals seek consistency in their beliefs, attitudes or opinions. (Festinger, 2009) Sciences and communication systems are becoming more evident and consistent in its pursuit of knowledge. It is filtering down to individuals’ cognitions as well; this is particularly true for the criminal justice system and the collecting of evidence. Choices are being affected even if slight in comparison to before.

Concerning the criminal justice system, there seems to have been significant changes within the policies, awareness and exploration of alternative methods. It may be confined to individual departments more than the whole US criminal justice system. Police units have become much more communal. Evidence can be seen in sensitivity training, integration of minorities, and in public exposure of specific corruption or abuse that can’t be denied, as seen on TV, i.e. the media. Recent riots occurred in San Francisco (2008) after the death of Oscar Grant by a transit police officer, Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle shot Grant in the back while he was in custody, handcuffed and lying face down. The officer’s argument was he confused his gun with his taser. However, video clips of the shooting immediately appeared on the internet from cell phone recordings. The riots seemed a more natural response and most likely expected in the urban area of Oakland and again an expression of anger rather than a protest of social disorder. The incidents in Oakland and in the LA riots were tangible incidents where the reaction was an emotional response based from a community’s outrage. Here is the difference from social movements or general protests. By definition social movements must encompass that “we have the power”, organized people to act rather than react and with purpose to work towards change. It is inherently different from a riot, by the fact that riots are usually spontaneously and an emotional response to certain circumstances.

Social movements may be unnecessary as we know it, in form of protestors and rioters. It then becomes a more of a cultural revolution, one that’s integrated into society through artistic measures and composition. Wikipedia defines it as, “an integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief and behavior that depends on the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning.” It is evident that while corporations are capitalizing on globalization, cultures are in fact becoming extensively multicultural. The skills of individuals living in today’s world need to learn to walk both lines or at least see them merging. Multinational companies and corporations know this and use it for their benefit. For an individual in a very larger “ponzi” scheme, perhaps media literacy, along with emotional intelligence can elevate social change and move people to act. Social movements are to help people regain perspective and share resources.

VI. Discussion and Conclusion

In US history, we often forget the struggle of Afro-Americans and the relativity of time for them in comparison to today’s movements. Four hundred years versus four or five decades ago, black people were finally given the right to vote (the Civil Rights era) and just at the end of another decade, the right to vote for an Afro-American as president. Though, many only see him as black and forget he is biracial and bicultural. I find that helps him walk a fine line at times as well as both at the same time and eventually merging them into one, like in his campaign slogan, “Yes, We Can.”

It is necessary to acknowledge the textbook, Elite Deviance by David R. Simon as a resource that details and uses historical analysis of elite deviance. (Simon, 2008) The text defines deviance in view of corporate and political deviations and connects the dots historically and empirically. In addition relies on defining elite deviance as a social process along with the social construction of reality theory concerning power and the distribution of wealth. The statistics that Simon has gathered and continually collects is alarming. The trend in his 27 years of research shows a pattern as well as growth in elite status, money and power. All, of which, is relative to the 1999 Seattle protest of the WTO’s Convention and concurrently other sociological theories concerning deviance.

First, it’s important to define who the elite are and what makes them deviant. Statistically they represent less than 2% of the population.[4] In Simon’s text, his research into corporations, government agencies and businesses is extensive and scary at the same time, the amount and depth of it truly is monumental for the modern world as we know it. Elitism has always existed in Western civilization, from the Egyptians to the Romans. Modern elites have seen their share of scandals, corruption and indiscretions but since Vietnam, the legitimacy of these issues seems to have been incorporated to its culture. The terminology is defined by C. Wright Mills in Curra’s text as higher immorality, similar to moral insensitivity. (Curra, 2000, p. 46) A street thug robs someone by gun and that’s immoral but someone diverts millions of dollars from the public, that’s business. Much of which is common sense to active listeners as well as social activists. It is through Scheff’s Theory Flow chart that our cognitive dissonance is moving from under distance to over distance without ever having esthetic distance. (Scheff's, Spring 2009) Similar to my thought on tomorrow’s headlines is yesterday’s news and how we seemed to miss a day somewhere. So in social movements, there is a yearning for the past, present and future. In today’s age we should be lucky to find what’s present.

As large corporations began to market the concept of globalization, the internet has made the modern man to expand and broaden the scope within the concept of borderless morphing of technology. The Third World has been restructured and renamed as “underdeveloped” countries, meaning still having possibilities. In addition to new concepts, individuals also have continuous possibilities. Shibutani states, “each social world, then is a culture area, the boundaries of which are set neither by territory or formal group membership, but by the limits of effective communication”. (Shibutani, p. 151) Generally, citizens end up playing Catch 22 with the media, while sifting through high speed technology for truth.

For Seattle-ites, some solidarity had been reached in terms of creating a scene that was recognizable. The court ruling following arrests and other complaints, eventually gave American citizens what they were demanding- a sense of reality and a game with rules of fairness. In many ways, the Battle in Seattle is a progressive approach to unite rather than protest. If the police trends reflect accountability in their fight against corruption in their own units, perhaps we have closer ties to role models that sustain us and provide protection. The need to for sustainability for officers of the law is that their physical lives depend on each other as a whole unit rather than one fractured by personality traits. Artistic culture is what sustains us in mass media but how much does it protect us?

Recent research reveals Hollywood has made a movie to be released in fall 2009, ten years later. The Battle in Seattle is made by major actors and first directorial debut of Stuart Townsend (a bit frustrating in Google search to pull up this than the actual event in 1999). As the story hits mainstream America, movies ability to move us might help take things seriously and perhaps it will seep into our subconscious which in time brings conscious living.

Apart from everything else, I had some difficulties in Simon’s text on his view of the personality traits of corporate leadership. His description of attachment disorder was too similar to that of serial killers. (Simon, pp. 287-288) Someone once called another person I know, a sociopath and I’d never heard the term. I had heard of psychopath. However, many of what elite deviant behavior mirrors is that of a sociopath. It is scary to think. Many despise the former President but his motivations, I think were naïve. He is a different form of scary but really comical. I am a person of quotes so I will end it with three good ones, two from President Bush.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." – President George W. Bush

“I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what’s moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read the news themselves.” – President George W. Bush

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”- Albert Einstein

[1] Edwin M. Lemert’s theory here concerns pluralistic society in defining primary and secondary deviance as consequences of social labeling. According to Liska, primary deviation, as contrasted with secondary, is polygenetic, arising out of a variety of social, cultural, psychological and physiological factors. It is the act of deviant behavior that differs from secondary deviance, which is a social defense, attack or adaption to overt and covert problems and it’s a reaction to primary deviance.

[2] Edmond Burke was a political philosopher, member of British parliament, was in opposition of the French Revolution, and viewed as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism. His first published work was titled, A Vindication of Natural Society: A View of the Miseries and Evils Arising to Mankind. (Wikipedia, Edmund Burke, 2009)

[3] The research paper, Millennium Trade Talks and the ‘Battle in Seattle’ gives detailed accounts of the WTO’s meeting in Seattle and for those rallying for the protesters in Seattle, one should read the report. Their views represent the U.K. but insightfully written.

[4] Wikipedia has a condensed look at social class that gives insight to various countries and eras that define the upper class/elites. Some important stats: 1978 upper upper class household income was over $60,000 ($183,000 in 2005 dollars), 2002 capitalist class was 1.5% households made over $250,000 while 146,000 individuals/households having incomes $1, 600,000 or more (.01% of population)2005 1% in upper class household income over $250,000, with 5% income over $140,000 (Wikipedia, Social Class, 2009)


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