Given that David Downes and Paul Rock’s (1998) Understanding Deviance claims to provide the reader with an ‘extensive coverage’ of ‘the principal theories of crime and social deviance’, it is somewhat perplexing to us that there is not even a relatively brief survey, never mind an extensive discussion of the significance of the work of Michel Foucault for the sociology of ‘deviance’. This is not to dispute the quality of the scholarship – which incidentally is good – but is more than a little surprising to us because Foucault’s œuvre is replete with insights, both ordinary and extraordinary, for understanding ‘deviance’.