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Lecture 8

SOC307H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Devaluation, Addiction, Shoplifting

Course Code
Reza Barmaki

of 6
Social Control Paradigm Aug 8, 2012
Fundamental Assumptions
Anyone can commit crime
Motives are diverse ex: addiction, jealousy, rage
No dominant motive (s)
Not useful to study motives
Focus on: restraining forces
Push towards conformity
When absent: deviance
Main restraints: family, socialization, social ties….
Containment Theory (Walter Reckless)
All human can commit crime
1) Inner pressure-towards deviance
-Failure, frustration, boredom….
2) External pressures
-Poverty, bad friends…
Many resist these pressures
Inner and outer containment
When absent: deviance
1) Inner Containment
Favourable image of oneself (self-esteem)
Strong ethics, goal oriented
Result of proper parental socialization
2) External Containment
Supervision & discipline
Strong social relationships
Conventional values/activities
School, church, neighborhood…..
Travis Hirschi
1) Attachment
To people
Provide: support, care, supervision
I talk to my friends in time of need
I am not eager to move out of my parents house
My parents are good role models
2) Commitment
Following socially-approved behaviour
I don’t smoke
Don’t drink a lot
Don’t skip school
I attend mosque
3) Involvement
Time spent in conventional activities
Less time for deviance
I spent time with my family
I work part-time
Play basketball on weekends
4) Beliefs
Belief in common values
Dominant value system
It is important to own a home
It is important to respect police
Education is important
Sykes and Matza
Most delinquents eventually opt out of delinquent lifestyle as they grow
There is a basic code of morality in place
But it is often neutralized
Neutralization Theory
Methods used to temporarily neutralize pro-social values
Normally prohibit deviance
Morality, respect for law…
Inner obstacles that much be neutralized
Guilt over illegal acts
Respect and admiration for honest, law-abiding individuals
Line between those can be victimized and those who cannot
Demands for conformity
Neutralization Techniques
1) Denial of responsibility
Offenders claim they were victims of circumstances beyond their control
“I don’t know what happened”
“It just happened”
2) Denial of injury
Offenders insist their actions did not cause any harm/damage
No harm done
“I just borrowed it”
“They can afford it”
“I just roughed him up a little, nothing serious”
3) Denial of (or blaming) of the victim
Offender claims victim deserved whatever action the offender
“She had it coming”
“He provoked me”
“He does it to others”
4) Condemnation of condemners
Offenders claim those who condemn their crimes are hypocrites,
They are not any better themselves
“They steal themselves they just don’t get caught”
5) Appeal to higher loyalties
Offenders claim their crime was for the greater good
For long term consequences that justify their actions
“I was helping a friend”
“I did it for my family”
6) Necessity
Offenders claim they had to do it
There was no other solution
Economic reasons
“I needed the money”
“I needed a jacket”
“I did not have the time to prepare”
7) Everybody does it
Offender claims that his action are popular