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Lecture 9

SOC212H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Control Theory, Internal Control, Social Class


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC212H1
Professor
Candace Kruttschnitt
Lecture
9

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Lecture 9: Control Theories 11/14/2012 1:12:00 PM
1. External Control Theories
A. Introduction
-Albert Reese: Control theory, delinquency, family controls, community and
personal controls to explain delinquency
-Niles expanded on that
B.Travis Hirschi published ‘Causes of Delinquency’ focused research on
control theory
Freudian approach to study delinquency
He believed an interesting question why don’t they all get involve
in delinquency and crime
He argued that there are social bonds that individuals establish
within society, once they’re in place, really prevent kids from
engaging in delinquent behavior
Social Bonds:
o Attachment person sensitivity to an interest in others (most
important to parents, peers, schools, he put considerable
emphasis on parental attachments)
o Commitment the time and energy that youth expend on
conventional activities such as school work, pro social goals in
life
o Involvement Involvement not only in school but other
institutions (ie. Religious organizations, school clubs)
o Belief sharing common moral beliefs (believing in
right/wrong)
Theory generated an immense amount of empirical support (people
went out and tested it and saw if it was important if kids were
attached, commited to school, etc.)
Hirschi tested in California. Particularly strong in parental
attachement and pro social involvements.
Problems with theory:
o What if the parents were involved in delinquency
o What if you were really attached to yours friends, but they
were all delinquents
o Hirschi thought about strength of bond, but not pro social/
anti social bonds
o **very important criticisms

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o We know less about which bond is most important, even if
people have looked at parental attachment
o Children who fail in school are more likely to offend than
those who are more successful in school
o Does educational failure cause delinquency? Or if you lack an
attachment to the school?
o How does this theory explain gender differences? girls are
more less likely to be involved in delinquency than boys, but
how does Hirschi explain it? girls are more likely to have
stronger attachments than boys have.
C. Hagan’s Power Control Theory:
The potential for control to explain different gender delinquency.
-Theory two primary factors:
Social class
Family controls
-Key premise of theory: Power in the workplace influences parents on how
they socialize their kids (affects power relations in the household) that in
turn affects how parents socialize their children (their gender schema for
raising boys or for raising girls) affects child’s taste for risk and hence
delinquency
-In households where they called unbalanced, or patriarchal families
(husbands employed in positions of authority, and women might have jobs,
but not to the level of husband job. OR husband employed full time, woman
stay at home)
The control of daughters is the strongest in this type of family (so
see very little delinquency in these girls)
In Balanced, egalitarian families (husbands and wives have equal status
jobs, ie. Doctor and lawyer couple or both have lower class jobs but equal in
rank ie. Both work in factories) OR there is no dad, and mom raise kids on
own
In these families, daughters get freedom (reduced control from
parents) and are more likely to be involved in delinquency (more
risk taking)
-Even if you have equality in the workplace, doesn’t mean that you have
equality in the workplace (ie. Female CEO not treated the same as a male
CEO)
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-There are a lot of other factors involved in socialization of kids
Work can’t be seen as a uniform thing that has same influence on
kids (ie. Flux schedule, if one of your kids sick can you stay home
with them)
Characteristics of the job (can you afford some things, how much
does your job mean to you)
Affected by characteristics of the child (sex of child, age of child)
The presence of extended family
-Impact of siblings?
-Maternal distress may also explain the outcomes that Hagan and Simpson
and Gillis predict.
-Women with high power jobs (egalitarian) may experience emotional stress
which could affect parenting, and daughters could turn to delinquency
(because women come home from work, make dinner, laundry, household
chores)
-there must be something about income, job stress, etc. on how
people may parent
Hagan, Simpson, Gillis (took gender difference in account for delinquency)
-Bill McCarthy and Hagan shifted attention away from effects of power
control theory influences girls delinquency to boys delinquency. What are
these gender schemas, and how do they impact boys (and in particular, the
effect of maternal roles on boys choice for delinquency)
-When women have more power in the workplace, their sons are more
critical of traditional gender schemas and are less likely to engage in
delinquency (more egalitarian)
2. Internal Control Theories:
Self Control: Gottfredson and Hirschi: crime and criminality
-Focused on the way of internal control affected behavior
Gottfredson and Hirschi one explanation for crime, low self control
-people with a low self control commit crime (when opportunity comes)
-Crime= opportunity and criminality (the propensity to commit a
crime)
-Where does this low self control come from
Lies in early childhood socialization
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