Coping with a deviant identity

Gerald Hughes, Douglas Degher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Most interactionist literature dealing with the creation of deviance focuses on one of two major areas: Acquisition of a deviant identity and coping with a deviant identity. In the present paper, we explore the coping strategies used by members of a national weight control organization to deal with the devalued character of obesity. Data were gathered using the “triangulation” of direct observation, structured and unstructured interviews, and personal experience. We found five generic coping strategies used by our respondents. We call them: (1) Avoidance, (2) Compliance, (3) Reaction Formation, (4) Compensation, and (5) Accounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-315
Number of pages19
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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