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Mar. 26-28-30.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

th Mar. 26 - Reactions to Merton: Albert Cohen o Study of delinquency o “Status frustration”  Formation of delinquency subcultures in youth o Replacement of values occurs  Adrenaline rush of being caught or not, economic ideas, etc. - Another reaction to Merton: Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin o Differential opportunity theory o Differential access to illegitimate opportunities  Hierarchy o Inequality in access to crime success (ex: drug dealing) - Modern version of Strain Theory: Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory o Idea of general goals (in addition to money)  Marriage, having children, owning house, travel, career, etc.  Thrills/excitement o What strains most likely result in crime?  Parental rejection  Ex: parents split up  one parent leaves and doesn’t want to have contact with the child  Excessive parental punishment  Ex: beating a child, grounding for 2 days vs. 2 months, etc.  Negative high school experiences  Ex: don’t want to listen to teachers = low grades = dropout  Low paying jobs  Ex: cannot pay for rent, food, etc. o When will people react negatively to strain? o Solutions? - Another modern version of Strain: Steve Messner and Richard Rosenfeld’s “Institutional Anomie Theory” o U.S. high crime rate due to culture o “American Dream” erodes norms of society  Must live how society expects  nice car, wealthy, house, wife, kids, etc. o Fosters the onset of anomie o Crime rate is tied to dominance of economy over other institutions (family, school, political system th Mar. 28 Control Theory - Other names: o Self-control or social control o Umbrella for a number of theories - Control theory is “moral conscious”  guilt/shame felt by people - Assumes importance of socialization o Learning of values and norms  Don’t remember the first time these were learnt, just know them now o Ties to symbolic interaction - Central question  why don’t people commit crime? o If socialization is impaired: crime o But: controlling factors restrain most people from committing crime  Ex: red light obeyed at 3am with no one around  Ex: honour system for food on the side of a road (farmers)  Selling crop on the side of the road  no one around to take payment, but people leave money in the box - Social ties to society prevent crime o Inner and outer controls  Inner  being taught right and wrong (Ex: stealing is wrong, etc.), become beliefs  Outer  policing, eye-witnesses (Ex: murder = jail time, etc.) o Controls can be either informal (social) or formal (agents)
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