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Lecture

Social Control and Labelling Theories of Crime


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC307H5
Professor
Reza Barmaki

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SOC307
Aug 3rd
Social Control and Labelling Theories of Crime
Transmission of Culture: Learning Theory
-Edwin Sutherland
-differential association: through interaction with others, individuals learnt the values,
attitudes, techniques, and motives for criminal behaviour
-according to Sutherland:
ocrime occurs when learned criminal values override mainstream values
-learning comes from interactional factors effecting degree of learned values
ofrequency – how many times
oduration – how long
opriority – early associations
ointensity – strength
Social Learning Theory
-people learn in 2 ways:
oimitation:
observing and learning others
significant others – people that are important to us, and we look up to
them
hierarchies
ooperant conditioning
reward/punishment
Youth Groups and Deviance
-small intimate groups
-ample opportunity for learning deviance
-often reward deviant behaviour
TV Violence and Children
-aggression
-desensitization – gain tolerance
-fear
-violence as:
osexy
ocool
omanly
Social Control Paradigm
Why don’t the majority of people commit crime?
Why do people conform to social order?
-why do the majority of people that have problems, not commit crime?
Fundamental Assumptions
-anyone can commit crime
-motives for delinquency are diverse
oaddiction, rage, excitement, jealousy
-there is no one or few dominant motives
-concentrating on motive is useless
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-emphasis should be on forces that restraint people
-push people towards conformity
-when they are absent, …
Containment Theory (Walter Reckless)
-all humans are subject to criminal behaviour
-internal (inner) pressure towards deviance
oaggression, failure, frustration, boredom
-external (outer) pressures
opoverty, bad friends, bad environment, family conflict
-many resist this criminal behaviour
-inner and outer containment
-likelihood of deviant behaviour increases when the internal and external constraints
weaken
-two forms of containment:
o1. inner containment
most important factor
favourable image of oneself in comparison to other members
strong morals and ethics
goal oriented, focused
these factors help individual resist inner outer pressures
all results of proper parental socialization
o2. external containment
supervision and discipline
strong social relationships with sources of conventional socialization
beyond family
school, church, community
Travis Hirschi
-most famous face of the paradigm
-4 components to social control – keeping people in line
o1. attachment
to people
to provide: support, care, supervision
ex: 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
punishment becomes to isolate people – solitary confinement
other people usually provide, care and support for us
psychological support – people need to know someone gives a
damn about them
o2. commitment
following socially approved behaviour
ex: I don’t smoke/don’t drink/don’t skip school
to be committed to society
o3. involvement
time spent in conventional activities
less time for deviance
ex: I spent time with my family/I work part-time/I play sports after
school
having too much time – you will involve yourself in something – in better
or worse
o4. beliefs
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