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Lecture

SOC 3710 Lecture Notes - Social Capital, Longitudinal Study, Human Capital


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 3710
Professor
Bill O' Grady

Page:
of 4
February 28/2013
Young Offenders
Life Course Research
The idea of a transitions (job to unemployment, married to divorced) are often considered turning
points. Turning points in young people's lives could include marriage, pregnancy, university acceptance
o Event history analysis: how certain events in your life can have an impact later in your life
o This is why researchers will ask these kinds of questions - do you have kids? Have you moved?
Did you get a new job?
o Also want to know why crime decreases as you age: some people age out of crime, desires
change, opportunities decrease
o Looking at life course research looks at how people change
o Elder: early life course researcher in criminology
Sampson & Lamb
o Looked at individuals in their 70's
o Does not have to be a deterministic theory
o Study: how did you get involved in crime?
Based on the respondents they spoke to, they found that sometimes things happen to
people (good or bad) that you cannot predict
Thought that you could predict certain outcomes
Structure versus agency: different explanations of behavior
o Structural: recurrent patterns in data that shows certain people have limitations on choices and
opportunities based on your position in some structure
Economic structure, social class, gender, race
You are born into these positions, they are ascribed characteristics
Measured in patterns
We often think in structural perspectives when we think about others ex. That person's
a criminal because they're poor
o Agency: the capacity of individuals to act independently and make their own free choices
Free will
We often think in terms of agency when we think about ourselves ex. I'm successful
because I work hard
o People make their own decisions, but sometimes our options are structurally limited by our
environment
o To get around the divide of structure and agency, we can look at structuration
Point of balance between agency and structure- both operate together
Structure influences human behavior, but people are capable of changing the social
structures they inhibit
Example: someone grows up in a lower class area but works really hard through school
and moves away for university
Sampson and Lamb saw that people can make decisions that change their lives.
Qualitative research can better reveal factors of agency and structure than survey research.
o You can use a deductive approach by creating hypothesis' based on theories
o Or, you can start with empirical evidence and link them to various theories by observing first
o Structuration is a combination of the deductive and inductive, and the qualitative and
quantitative
Hagan
o Survey in the GTA looking at high school kids, their culture, and their experiences of crime
o Interviewed students first when they were in high school and then a second time in their mid
20's
o Wanted to know the extent teenage subcultures have on later life
o Student subcultures: jocks, stoners, nerds, skaters
o Hagan tried to divide everyone between popular and not popular: we wanted to know what
impact being in the not popular group had on later life
o Also looked at the class background of the kids
Divided each group further into low socioeconomic status and high socioeconomic
status
o Findings
If you were involved in a criminal subculture in high school, regardless of social class,
you didn't do very well 10 years after
The kids who were the partiers compared to the not popular kids: found that working
class popular and not popular had similar incomes in their late 20's
The partiers did better economically than the non partiers: broader social networks,
more social capital
Raised the idea that minor deviance can work in your favour
Human capital: education, job experience - those with the most credentials get the best jobs in society
Social capital: networks and connections with well established people
Cultural capital: knowledge of high culture (arts, museums, history, news, travelled, language fluency)
Tanner, Davies & O'Grady
o Looked at the national longitudinal study of children and youth: followed high school kids and
interviewed them every 3 years after for 15 years
o These kids were in school at the time
o Wanted to know what effect getting involved in different types of crime (drug use, violent
crimes and property crimes) had on people's future wages and how often they were
unemployed when they were older
o Findings
Those most negative effect was drug use: the kids who were most involved in drugs had
the lowest socioeconomic statuses when they reached their mid 20's (more so for
males than females)
Kids involved with drugs ended up getting less education and thus lower socioeconomic
statuses
Females involved in low level crimes had similar occupational outcomes as those not
involved in crimes
Davies & Tanner
o Looked at the differences between the kids who get caught doing deviant activities and the kids
who don't
o Wanted to look at the effect of labelling later in life by examining those who were charged and
processed through the criminal justice system
o Findings
Significant impact on the amount of money you make in the future and your
employment
Those who engaged in the behavior but didn't get caught did not see negative impacts
on their occupational statuses
o Explanation
If you end up in jail, your education will come to a halt and your skills aren't being
improved
Your social, cultural and human capital declines in jail
Stigma of having a criminal record: harder to get a good job
o The label has a detrimental effect on people's income later in life
o How do you better integrate people after they experience incarceration? How can you make
sure they have some skills to offer the labour market when they leave prison?
Training in a trade
Education
Provide programs
Direct them to college programs
MacMillan
o The effect victimization has on income later in life
o Used secondary data from Canada and the US
o Looked at girls who had reported sexual assault in the teens: wanted to know the effects on
their income in their mid 20's
o Findings