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University of Guelph
SOC 3710
Bill O' Grady

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,
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