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Lecture 9

CRM302 (Criminological Theories)- Lecture 9

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CRM 302
Stephen Muzzatti

CRM302-011 – Week 10: “Social Control Theory” Monday, March 25 , 2013 Social Control Theory - Introduction & Fundamental Questions - Intellectual Heritage (Italy: Niccolo Machiavelli, England, France) - 1950s: Reiss (America) - 50s & 60s: Walter Reckless & Simon Dinitz, Gresham Sykes & David Matza, James Short & Fred Strodtbeck, Travis Hirshi --- INTRODUCTION & FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS - this body of theorizing emerged at an odd time in terms of intellectual heritage – a time where labelling theory was teetering off and critical criminology became more radical - operates within the confines of structural perspective; as such, this body of theorizing defines norm violations as the appropriate object of study, and assumes normative order exists and can be identified by consensus - therefore, violations are easily identifiable and can be said to be functionalist-inspired - ontologically, this body of theorizing sees deviance as different than non-conforming due to different motivation, which builds an epistemology around this motivation - sees structural stresses as a push for deviance - norm violations are generally so appealing and exciting that people are motivated to violate them, so it is unnecessary to explain why people break laws - what needs to be explained is why do people follow the rules/conform? INTELLECTUAL HERITAGE Niccolo Machiavelli (1469) - was appointed secretary of 2 chancellor in a middle-government job (1498); moves into powerful/influential groups like the Pope, Kings, etc. - wrote “The Prince” (1513) which was a handbook for political survival at the time - during what would have been Machiavelli’s youth, “Italy” was not a country but rather a collection of sort of states, and a place dominated by five powerful families (one family was patrons of Machiavelli) - wrote about ineptitude of these rulers and the problems, such as crime, arising when they should be thriving as a result of maintenance - for Machiavelli, there were two kinds of people: “Italians” (even though this term didn’t exist) and the “barbari” - to be an effective ruler, the “Italians” needed to love you while the “barbari” needed to fear you, which would lead to obedience - “People must be won over or destroyed” - “Determine the injuries needed for the populous and hit them once, and hard” - People will not be involved in crime because of their love/fear of them - Freedom as a concept? Didn’t exist, people didn’t fight for freedom or a sense of nation, they fought for debt and other reasons Thomas Hobbes (1588) - English, Oxford university - wrote “The Leviathan” (1651), a very controversial piece (publicly burned, and even inspired legislation against atheism, etc.) that made governing a science - provided readers with a technology of governance and studied issues of order/disorder - his ontology of people were less negative, and therefore his epistemology was less harsh - wanted governance that would result in peace, otherwise life would be “nasty, brutish, and short” - had a theory of agency involving passion/reason as reasons for acting and social contract: everyone, together, is involved in the making of the social contract - sigil was sword & sceptre: why? the sword represents coercive power, and the sceptre represents authority – if you do not follow the State’s orders (authorative power), they have the coercive power to compel you to follow its orders th Emile Durkheim (late 19 century) - wrote “The Rules of Sociological Method Summary” (1895) – Chapter 3: “Rules for Distinguishing the Normal from the Pathological” - theorized that all societies will have a certain amount of crime and deviance (it is a normal and beneficial thing, because it served important functions such as keeping a balance and placing moral boundaries) - therefore, social relations are smooth, social regulations are widely accepted = normal societies (non-anomic) - deviant behaviour exists to help maintain this boundary/reminds us of this boundary - think of this boundary as a fault line along a continuum, where one end is “super bad behaviour” and “super good behaviour” -> if deviant behaviour goes beyond the fault line, it is accepted as wrong, and acts to remind us of this boundary Albert J. Ross - throughout 1950s, lots of theorists presented social control explanations for delinquency - wanted to combine work from Durkheim and works from Chicago School and psycho-analytical perspectives - wrote “The Delinquency as the Failure of Personal and Social Controls” (1951) which articulates again WHY DO PEOPLE FOLLOW THE RULES? - agents of socialization provide us with the social rules, and internalization of these rules - we develop internally these external rules provide a mechanism by which these internal controls are maintained and reinforced through processes such as interaction with others - for Reiss, those who indulge in rule-breaking behaviour were not properly socialized (these external agents did not provide/teach them properly) - also did work on social disorganization deviance using the same internal/external model to explain misbehaviour of groups; did a study for stats on white-collar crime/law-breaking - found that a majority of police do not engage due to very complex social organization operations: - pro-active (preventive) techniques and reactive (punishing) operations are set in and operated internally/externally to keep police in line - found organizations that actively seek out deviance are far more successful than those who only look at reactive ones - processual controls (inspections, audits) are most effective, but not used often because they are expensive WALTER RECKLESS -most well-k
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