CRIM 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Jeremy Bentham, Social Control, Family Values

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Simon Fraser University
Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 101
CRIMINOLOGY 101
SOCIAL CONTROL, RATIONAL CHOICE AND DETERRENCE
JEREMY BENTHAM (1748-1832)
Member of the classical school of criminology
Said that people were rational, and exercised free will
Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certain action was more likely
to result in pleasure than pain
UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS
Social control and rational choice theories say there is nothing unique about criminal
behaviour, and that no motivation to engage in such behaviour is quite widespread
Instead of asking why certain individuals commit crimes, social control and rational
choice theorist ask why more individuals don’t commit crimes
Notion underlying all types of control theory is that conformity cannot be taken for
granted
If you want conformity and social control, you need effective socialization
If people don’t learn/internalize social conventions or norms, then social controls will
break down or become ineffective
WALTER RECKLESS’ CONTAINMENT THEORY
Inner containment = self-control, good self-image, ability to tolerate frustration
Outer containment = family values, institutional reinforcement, effective supervision
Internal pushes = restlessness, impatience and anger
External pulls = poverty, unemployment, the media, or delinquent friends
TRAVIS HIRSCHI’S SOCIAL BOND THEORY
Attachment = ties of affection and respect, with parents, school teachers
Commitment = getting good education, learning trade or profession, finding a good job
Involvement = being involved ins school, in recreation, with family
Belief = shared values-it’s wrong to steal, people should respect the law
GOTTFREDSON AND HIRSCHI’S GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME
A GENERAL THEORY OF CRIME
Points to low self-control as the cause of crime
Tied in with Classical School's "hedonistic calculus"- people will choose to commit
crimes if they perceive that prospects for pleasure outweigh prospects for pain or
punishment
Agree with opportunity theory or routine activities theory, and requirements for “a
motivated offender, the absence of a capable guardian, and a suitable target in order for
crime to take place
THE CURE FOR CRIME
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Document Summary

Member of the classical school of criminology. Said that people were rational, and exercised free will. Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certain action was more likely to result in pleasure than pain. Social control and rational choice theories say there is nothing unique about criminal behaviour, and that no motivation to engage in such behaviour is quite widespread. Instead of asking why certain individuals commit crimes, social control and rational choice theorist ask why more individuals don"t commit crimes. Notion underlying all types of control theory is that conformity cannot be taken for granted. If you want conformity and social control, you need effective socialization. If people don"t learn/internalize social conventions or norms, then social controls will break down or become ineffective. Inner containment = self-control, good self-image, ability to tolerate frustration. Outer containment = family values, institutional reinforcement, effective supervision. External pulls = poverty, unemployment, the media, or delinquent friends.

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