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SOC305 Sept 26.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

SOC305 Sept 26 th Sociological Explanations…continued Merton – 1938 - starts by taking on the biology as an explanation - our primary aim lies in discovering how some social structures exert a definite pressure upon certain persons in the society to engage in nonconformist rather than conformist - talks about three ways cultural goals and institutional norms operates: o stress on cultural goals with little concerns for institutional norms – USA? o activities originally instrumental becomes ends in themselves  the main idea becomes to just follow the rules o balance between cultural goals and institutional means is maintained - compares society to a game – the idea of winning at all costs - strain to achieve the prestige of a white collar job – middle class goals o 2 elements:  anti social behaviour is the consequence • difference between conventional values and the means to achieve those values • If you’re not presented with the opportunities (employment, savings, etc) – then you will turn to illegitimate means to achieve that goal • limited by education and economic opportunities • we are asked to orient our progress to accumulating wealth - pathological personalities - revolutionary activities - very high premium on affluence – but doesn’t provide the means for everyone to achieve those goals - class structure is becoming rigified and vertical mobility is declining o not a lot of room for people to move up and down the structure o getting harder and harder to ‘break out’ o the foundation/cause of deviance/deviant behaviour o not a lack of opportunity – not just the cultural emphasis on money  only when a system of cultural values stoles virtually above all else that a certain system of population at large, or the social structure rigorously restricts or limits the access for society to achieve those goals - the problem is not that we want to make money – the problem arises when there is a certain means of achieving that success and society limits opportunities/restricts people from achieving that success - conventional ideas of what success is – material success – cultural values - criminal offending of people in the position of poverty/lower class crime o different places at different times, there are different notions of achieving the goals  thus international laws and treaties are broken  collectivize what is happening at the lower level to a larger scale – governments, etc. • micro and macro level Merton’s Typology Modes of Adaption - conformity o acceptance of the goals and the means of getting there - innovation o we accept the culturally prescribed goals but not the means of achieving them - ritualism o rejection of those goals – of material wealth - retreatism o rejection of the goals and any means of getting there o retreated from society – have problems with alcohol drug abuse, homelessness - rebellion o a rejection of the goals and the means of getting there and making their own - not so much poverty and disadvantage that leads to limited opportunities that lead to produce the social strain to crime- but the over emphasis of the universal definition of success – happens across classes of people – that’s what produces the strain to commit crime o ways to reduce crime  would involve different ideas of what success is  thus more likelihood to achieve those goals – and wouldn’t have to use illegitimate ways to achieve those goals Hirschi – Bond Theory - Causes of Delinquency - individuals will commit acts when their bonds are weakened or broken o attachment o commitment o involvement o belief  elements of morality General Theory of Crime: Self Control Theory: Gottfredson and Hirschi - bridge the individual and the social - considered one of the control theories - discussion between criminality and self control o you don’t need to have motivations to lack self control o each one of us has self control – different level of self-control - self control: o impulsivity o adventure seeking o self-centredness o minimal tolerance for frustration o lack of diligence o inability to defer gratification o sort sighted o non-verbal - these traits of self-control can be identified prior to the age of criminal responsibility - come as a collective in people - the self control you have is stable – will be the same throughout your life o crime is the least dangerous aspect of low self control  ex. social relationships - self control is not a product of learning - not the result of pressures o ex. peer pressures - not the product of a defect o nothing produced it - no calculations of the consequences of your actions - underlying reason for all our actions Harm Reduction - crime is inevitable - all we can do is diminish the harm caused o drugs users will continue to use drugs, prostitutes will continue o they are addicts – they cant just stop o the idea is not abstinence –minimize the harm - needle exchange programs - what would the perspective of these theorists take? How The Theories Learned Will View Performance Enhancing Drugs Differential Association - players are using the drugs because they are hanging out with people whoa re using o ex. trainers, other athletes o different definitions in support in using the drugs Social Learning - players have learned they have to try to win the game at any cost - wining at any cost means using your body to produce the results you need to win Strain Theory - player on the scrawny side – strain between the goals he wants and the means of achieving it - uses it to bulk up and be better Control Theory - not enough bonds or attachments - players these days don’t care about the game like the other generations did Self Control - have no self control - not going to get voted in the Hall of Fame Routine Activity - nobody observing to intervene to prevent this from happening Harm Reduction - it is going to happen, best thing we can do is educated the players - let them know what happens by using the drugs - unattractive consequences of using the drugs - theories spring of on what is happening in society at the time - Strain: coming out of the great depression o relief, recovery, reform - self control – incapacitation movement – cant change, put them in jail o 3 strikes legislation o once a criminal, always a criminal - label theory – time of the hippie movement o you are labelled something so you are going to be that label Critical Criminologies and Conflict Theories Should Criminology only Focus on the Criminal? - conflict theory emphasized how things become criminalized - often questions the established order - gaze turned to who makes and prosecutes the rules - they have an interest in maintaining the status quo and use th
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