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Melissa Bean

BA '14 - Deviance and Social Control

Melissa combined cultural anthropology, sociology, psychology, literature, and creative writing for her Gallatin concentration, Deviance and Social Control: Realities and Representations. Born in Rochester, New York, Melissa came to Gallatin because, she says, “It was the only school that would let me approach the combination of subjects in my own way.”

Melissa says that she has always been interested in the pervasiveness of social rules. According to her, "There are individuals and groups within any society who knowingly and purposefully go against the general social guidelines. The first part of my concentration is looking at those rules. The second part is looking at how these deviant groups are able to enforce themselves.” The last part of her project considers how we deal with these groups in the media, and seeks to understand the function of deviant groups in social narratives.

Professor Sara Murphy’s course Guilty Subjects: Guilt in Literature and Psychoanalysis influenced Melissa’s work by giving her a new way to think about both deviant behavior and social control on personal and social levels. In the spring of 2013, Melissa took advantage of one of Gallatin’s many study-abroad options to study for a semester in London. “I like the mixture of freedom and individual attention at Gallatin,” she says. “I also like the fact that you learn so much about different things from your peers.”

In 2014, Melissa began her MFA in Creative Writing at NYU.

Melissa Bean