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Lecture 5

SOC*2700 Lecture Week 5

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 2700
Professor
C Yule
Semester
Winter

Description
Tuesday, Feb 5, 2013 Social Learning & Subcultural Theories Overview - review Quiz 3 - Discussion of Social Learning Theories - Clip form the Wire Learning to be a Criminal - Differential Association Theory (Sutherland) - crime, line any behaviour, is learned - 2 techniques of learning: techniques of crime and motives, drives, rationalizations and attitudes for the crime - Social Learning Theory (Akers) - crime is learned through interaction - a great deal of learning takes place by observing the consequences behaviours have for other people - Techniques of Neutralization (Sykes and Matza) - learning crime occurs through in- teractions with intimate personal groups - justifications - all theories say: - learning deviant behaviour happens through the same process as learning normal be- haviour - these are learned through interactions with others - learning is best accomplished through close relationships Distinctive Features of Learning Theories - all learning theories stress how we are continually involves in learning and teaching - micro theories of crime - all individuals who commit crime hold attitudes, beliefs, or definitions that allow them to commit crime or to violate society’s rules - these are learned through interacting with others - Sutherland: learn excess of definitions fabourable to violation of the law relative to definitions unfavourable to violation of law - there is no fundamental difference between deviants and others Differences between Learning Theories How learning occurs: - modeling or imitation - directly through interaction with others - operant conditioning What people learn: - definitions that allow or encourage them to commit criminal acts - ways of behaving that will be rewarding - definitions that allow them to justify acts Questions to Consider - are crimes like murder or sexual assault or theft really learned? - why don’t we all engage in crime is we are all subject to definitions favourable to law vi- olation? - how do we measure “definition favourable to the law”? - is social learning theory deterministic? - causal direction? Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 Social Learning & Subcultural Theories The Wire: Discussion Questions Consider the following: 1) Crime is behaviour that is produced by subcultures and transmitted by learning. Pro- vide a specific example - poverty 2) What are some of the structural strains or pressures that might drive youth to join a gang? - teaching how to shoot to kill 3) Members of criminal subcultures reject the values and norms of conventional society. Provide a specific example. Neutralization Theory (Sykes & Matza) - people “drift” between conformity and deviance - techniques of neutralization justify criminal behaviour, while at the same time they al- low people to see themselves as generally conforming Techniques of Neutralization - denial of responsibility - “I didn’t mean tot do it”; “the alcohol went to my head” - denial of injury - “we were just having fun”; “the insurance company will pay” - denial of victim - “she had it coming”; “they shouldn’t have been there” - condemnation of the condemners - “the authorities are hypocrite
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