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Unit 2 Reading2070.docx

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SOC 2070
Norman Dubeski

Unit 2 Reading: Hirschi’s Control Theory: A sociological Perspective on Drug Abuse among Persons with Disabilities Introduction  There is a high incidence (40%) of substance abuse among people with disabilities. They are twice as likely to abuse substances as the general public Hirschi’s Control Theory  Focuses on the social forces that prevent people from participating in deviant behaviour  His social bonds are comprised of 4 things o Attachment: a person with weak attachments is assumed to be unconcerned about the wished of others, and thereby inclined to deviate from social expectation o Commitment: an individual who has invested time, energy and resources into conforming to social norms and expectations is less likely to deviate than someone who does not have such commitments o Involvement: an individual who is actively engaged in conventional endeavours has less time to engage in deviant activities such as drug abuse, but an unemployed person has more free time in which to become enticed and involved in deviance o Beliefs: those who question or challenge the norms have a greater propensity to behave in a deviant manner Applying Control Theory to Substance Abuse among Disabled Attachment  People with disabilities may be socially devalued  People with disabilities may be shunned by others in their community because they are perceived as different or strange  People with disabilities may choose social isolation, the outcome being depression and loneliness, which correlate with alcohol and drug abuse Commitment  The employment and college enrolment of people with disabilities is low in comparison to non-disabled people  People with disabilities will be less invested personally and financially in educational and career goals  Deviant choices are less risky with no commitments Involvement  Due to detachment from social institutions, many people with disabilities are not engrossed in conventional activities  People with disabilities are also desirous of excitement and have more opportunity for leisure, they may be particularly susceptible to deviance Belief  A modification and softening of the belief system may accompany the onset of disability  Feelings of guilt and pity can lead family members and friends to compromise their beliefs and values when it concerns the disabled person. This compromise may produce deviance  The person with the disability is given special treatment by family and friends because of the disability, enabling alcohol and drug abuse Implications for Rehabilitation  The most immediate context is that of the Family system, a successful adjustment to any changed that stem from a disabling even will involve the family  If weak attachments are identified, rehabilitation should interview the parents and family members to pinpoint areas of disjointedness  Healthy relationships with drug free friends/support groups can restrain deviance  Rehabilitation professionals can coordinate participation is structured activities  Group counselling with others who share similar challenges may be particularly valuable Conclusion  Given Wright’s assertion that disability status can lead to social isolation, Hirschi’s hypothesis that weak social ties with society encourage deviant behaviour is particularly pertinent to the prevention and intervention of substance abuse among rehabilitating clients  Empirical data is needed to demonstrate the significance Constructionism: focuses on the creation of social categories, the imputation of deviance to those categories, why certain rules exist, and what the dynamics of enforcement are  Social constructionist approach permits inquiry into false accusations, it is secondary that the accused person didn’t do it. The enterprise of persecution and condemnation is independent of the enactment of behaviour of which deviants are accused. Social Control: efforts to ensure conformity to a norm. Every time people do something to induce someone to engage in behaviour they believe is right, they are engaged in social control  To the constructionist, social control is the central concept. Throughout human history, all societies everywhere have set and enforced norms: rules about what their members should and should not do. Implied in a norm is the expectation that violators are punished  Everyone, Everywhere is subject to norms  Lack of norms in a society would result in a state of collapse  Internal Social Control: operates through the process of socialization, by learning and adopting the norms of the society from Agents  Agents: family, schools, peers, mass media are all influential agents of socialization  Internalized: when the norms of a society are accepted to be valid. If internalization is successful, people will feel huilty is they engage in behaviour that goes against their society’s norms  There are always some people, usually the minorities, who do not accept the legitimacy of the norms  External Social Control: when agents of social control detect behaviour and use some sort of punishment or coercion  Sanctions: rewards and punishments Informal Social Control: takes place in interpersonal interactions between and among people who are acting on their own, in an unofficial capacity (frowning at someone)  Most of the time, social control is informal Formal Social Control: when informal social control is ignored, formal social control becomes necessary. This is made up on the efforts to bring about conformity to the law by agents of the criminal justice system.  Formal and informal social control can operate at the same time Semiformal Social Control: Professional controllers who do not have the power to arrest, but who can make recommendations to agents of the criminal justice system (social workers, psychiatrists etc.)  The vast majority of rule breaking behaviour is ignored by formal and semi formal social control Perspectives That Focus on Defining Deviance Labeling/Interactionist Theory: focuses on rule making and reactions to rule breaking  First, People act on the basis of the meaning that things have for them  This meaning grows out of interaction with others, especially intimate others  Meaning is continuou
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