Lecture 12: Social Control Paradigm
• Don't majority of people commit crime?
Why do people conform to social order?
Social Control Paradigm
AKA: Social Bond Theory
Doesn't act why people commit crime; asks instead why is it that despite the existence of
all pressures (biological, sociological and psychological) only a small percentage of
people give in and the majority do not commit crimes.
Social Control Paradigm
Emerges 2 Theories:
Anyone is capable of committing crimes because we are all subjected to the pressures.
Anyone: can commit crimes
Motives: are diverse; addiction, rage, jealousy
No dominant motive(s)
Not useful to study motives
Focus: retraining forces; IE: Conformity. When absent, acts of deviancy are more likely
Main Restraints: Family, socialization, social ties
Containment Theory Contains individuals; makes them conform to social norms so that they do not commit
acts of crime.
Pressures pushing individuals towards deviance:
Internal: failure, frustration
External: poverty, bad friend,
Many resist the outer and inner pressures and we want to know why? Because we have
two layers of containment
Inner Containment: favorable self image = Self Esteem
Proper parental socialization
Goal oriented / high frustration tolerance / strong ethics / welldeveloped ego and
Supervision and discipline
Travis Hirschi: Social Control (Bond) Theory
Attachment: to people
Emotional bond: sensitivity, interest, caring, respect for others
Conscience; we think about others and put them ahead of ourselves; opposite behavior is
Community, marriage, school, work,;
Desire for approval; when we commit to these activities, we prove that we are invested in
prosocial activities for societies approval and respect.
Involvement: Conventional activities Less time for deviance
Time with family, work, sports; getting involved in these suggests that you have no time
to engage in deviant behavior.
We already know that adolescents get bored quickly
Legal code, common morality
Internalized norms; earliest stage that this internalization begins in is with the family.
Importance of Family
Emphasized by many theories as the key factor in socialization and internalization by
providing the individual with a positive sense of self and other prosocial characteristics.
Primary Agent: socialization
Values, selfconcepts, personality characteristics
All of these determine: deviance
3 family conditions related to deviance
Broken Home: parental imprisonment, divorce, step families
Dysfunctional Family: punitive incompetent parenting
Single Parenting: not necessarily the case, however conservatives are very picky when it
comes to the family model.
Deviancy associated with these: substance abuse, violence etc. these show themselves
early on in life.
Emerged to a large extent as a reaction of the short comings of the Marxian systems. Assumption: both branches show that people in society have differential interests which
usually result in conflict.
Assumptions: positions = interests = conflict
Marx: interested in the nature of capitalist society
Capitalism: capitalist vs working class; differing interests and what ensued was class
Capitalist [rich; own the means of production; factories, lands etc ]
Workers: labour power to self in exchange of wages
Class: relationship to the means of production
Produce: necessities of life, wealth
Conflict: ownership of means of production
Force & ideology: massive social inequality; this is not something naturally occurring,
but something reproduced over and over.
Force: law, police
Ideology: reflects, justifies and protects the interests of the ruling classes
Trickle Down: The Practice
Let the rich do whatever they want;
Ideas: may be political, theological
Pluralist Conflict Theory
Society: competing interest groups Differential Access: wealth, power, honor
3 dimensions of social inequality/stratification