Lecture 10: Social Control Theory
• Assumes that we are neither good nor evil, but have the capacity to do wrong ( since its in our nature to seek prosperity)
• ‘Wrong’ may be the most efficient way of achieving our goals.
• Control theory asks “why don’t we all break the law?” since wrong is the quickest way to gratify oneself. Thus, What needs to be
explained is conformity rather than deviance
• Thus, What needs to be explained is conformity rather than deviance
• They key thing to explain is why people conform to law/don’t break it rather then deviance or why people break it since they are a
tiny population and cannot be generalized.
• Ans: We conform because of social controls the processes that bind us to the social order (We commit crimes when these bonds
are weak or bonds break apart)
Types of suicides
• Egoistic: self. Insufficient bond to the society. Types of suicide where people are poorly integrated into the society. They cannot
function in group, loonly, by their own and so on.
• Altruistic: you are willing to make sacrifices for others. In terms of suicide, it means they are so integrated into the society, they are
willing to kill themselves for others. I.e. jumping on a bomb and saving the life of others.
• Anomic suicide: lawlessness society=anomy. In this states, life might loss the worth of your living. i.e. a million of $ was worth only
50K in argentina. The rich people could not now imagine their life without any money=they killed themselves.
• Fatalistic suicide: fatalistic means our lifes are predestined and you cannot do anything about it. In terms of suicide it means. Tran
atlantic slave trades. Slaves choosing to jump into the ocean ( even though their hands were bound) because their situation is so bad and
they cannot any good future ( I cannot live like this and this will not get bettter)à you kill yourself.
Suicide in Canada
• Suicide is not illegal in Canada (since 1974) BUT Counseling or aiding and abetting suicide is illegal
• 4,000 deaths per year or less than 2% as a proportion of deaths (cancer nearly 60,000 per year)
• More males commit suicide than females
• In the mid1990s, the male and female suicide rates were 21.0 and 5.5 per 100,000 respectively
• Immigrant women are more likely to commit suicide than Canadianborn women
• Canadianborn men are more likely to commit suicide than foreignborn men
• For males, the peak age is 3544 years
• For females, 4554 years
Family suicidehomicides in Canada
• Threequarters (76%) of all homicidesuicides in Canada between 1961 and 2003 involved family members.
• Male spouses or exspouses committed over half of these cases and 97% of victims were female spouses (N= 834 female victims).
• Women aged 15 to 44 who were in an intimate relationship had slightly higher homicidesuicide victimization rates (3.5 per million
women in a spousal relationship) than women 45 years of age and older (approximately 2.5).
• Over one quarter (26%) of victims of homicide cleared by suicide between 1961 and 2003 were children and youth under the age of 18
• The majority of these child and youth victims (N=459 or 89%) were killed by a parent or stepparent.
• Of these victims killed by a parent, 69% were killed by their father, 3% by their stepfather and 28% by their mother.
• Boys under 1 and girls aged 1to5 years old were at greatest risk of being a homicidesuicide victim at the hands of a parent.
• Older adults are the age group least likely to be victims of a homicidesuicide.
• Only 137 incidents were reported between 1961 and 2003 and most of these were spousal in nature.
• The number of suicide rates remain the same over years (3600 approximately and usually around it)
• Method: Hanging I the highest in men▯firearm 56%. Poisoning the most in the females (40%)
Suicide among young people (United States 2007)
• Suicide was the third (Accidents seems to be the leading cause of death in many) Leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to
• Of every 100,000 young people in each age group, the following number died by suicide:
• Children ages 10 to 14 — 0.9 per 100,000
• Adolescents ages 15 to 19 — 6.9 per 100,000
• Young adults ages 20 to 24 — 12.7 per 100,000
Leading causes of death among youngs:
1. Unintentional injuries: 48%: mostly motor vehicle injuries
2. Homicide: 13% 3. Suicide: 11%
Social disorganization: Frederic Thrasher
• THRASHER (why did gang arise?)
o The Gang located gangs where there were breaks in the structure of social organization or there is break/vacum in the
organization of the society.
o Geographic breaks such as deteriorated neighborhoods or slums
o Social breaks such as adolescence which is a period of transition between childhood and maturity (a crime of social break.
They are neither consider neither men/childrens. To be considered men=cause them to be criminal)
o Gangs need not be delinquent, but delinquency is often exciting to the youth in such neighbourhoods
Social disorganization: Clifford Shaw & Henry McKay
• SHAW AND McKAY ECOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
o Crime and delinquency would occur if the community failed to supply a structure through which common values can be
realized and common problems solved
o Supported through ecological analysis showing that highest crime rates near city centre and declined outward
The social disorganization model (EXAM)
• 1) Nucleus=CBD=downtown. The idea is that city grows from a small nucleus
like the downtown and then it grows outwards into different rings. The closer of
are to the nucleus the more the crime we see. Accommodation here is suppose to
very cheap (NOT TRUE THOUGH richer usually live so it depends on the city)
• 2) Transitional zone
• 3) Working class zone
• 4) Residential zone
• 5) Commuter zone: less criminality
• This is also called the concentric zone model or the social disorganization
model (the farther you move from the city the more the crime). There are
instances where you can multinucleolus cities.
Social disorganization: Shaw & McKay
• Attributed this to a failure of neighbourhood institutions and organizations such as families, schools, and churches to provide social
controls in these highcrime areas
• SOME WEAKNESSES WITH THIS WORK
Problem of ecological fallacy:
1) Vviews the poor a necessarily as criminals ( property does not necessary cause crime but rather it is the inequality that causes
2) Rrecording a crime at a particular location doesn’t mean that people living heir are the ones that caused it. [2. bars hotels, etc
are often located downtown and attract people