SOC313 lecture 2.docx

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20 Apr 2012
SOC313 lecture 2
Last class he talked about Black a way to think sociologically about social
control - how there is form, style, quantity by quantity he meant amount,
degree and magnitude
What’s the difference between degree and magnitude?
Degree and magnitude are the same thing
Definition of social control “Organized responses to crime, delinquency and
allied forms of deviant and/or socially problematic behavior which are
actually conceived as such: weather in the reactive sense or the proactive
Focusing on social control as a reaction to things that are considered
criminal or delinquent or deviant
Focus on socialization and social norms more generally
Origins of the Concept
Origin of the concept was coined by Herbert Spencer (social philosopher)
but it didn’t get developed till 1901 by Edward Ross and he used it in an
earlier form of general reflection on everything that keeps society together
used them in a broad sense
This is the first time they started thinking academically or sociologically
about it although social control has been a concern for a while it’s the first
time they started thinking abstractly about it identifying it as it’s own
individual concept
First people to start talking about social control were the Chicago school
Pragmatism focused on how people see the world how did people
interpret the situation; understanding how people made sense of situations
in that moment
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” – some objective idea or standard,
you have to understand how people are processing or how they’re making
sense of it
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Pragmatist influence shaped how people in the Chicago school approached
1920s Chicago was going through a period of urbanization and a lot of
people from other countries moving in to the city a lot happening in the
Group of academics thinking about core sociological questions like social
control, like socialization; they were starting to think about problems or
issues in the city in new sociological ways
One thing that was influenced by pragmatism was that they moved away
from a moralizing approach of thinking about social problems they were a
bit more scientific or formalistic in their approach trying to make it
something we can understand
It wasn’t about something being good or bad - not about a moral question
about sin, it’s a social question – where are these things coming from
This non-judgmental approach combined with this pragmatist influence to
see things from people’s perspective meant that it was about getting your
hands dirty - if you wanted to study opium smoking, what better way to
study it but to go and smoke opium?
The biggest Chicago school theorists either after they came to the school
ended up getting into deviant stuff or they came from a deviant
background might’ve been a tramp in the day
Two big concepts that came out of the Chicago school
1. Social disorganization
2. The self
1. Social disorganization
It is a lack of a sense of community that leads to disorganization that leads
to crime
In Chicago, you have all these people from different immigrants groups in
one neighborhood- they theorized that the answer is obvious > immigrants
are deviant people
Actually, because all these people are coming together from different places,
there’s no common ground no shared beliefs about deviance in the
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absence of these shared beliefs, deviant beliefs can come into play and have
some influence
They’d get caught up in gangs, youth delinquency and learned about the
benefits of criminal lifestyle
In a disorganized community institutions of informal social control break
down like the family, influence your friends and family have on you, not
laws and prison
There are different norms and values all circulating, but these institutions
aren’t there either because everyone is coming from somewhere else so it
hasn’t had a chance to build up
People say maybe there are institutions but they’re not as strong as they
should be you don’t have some of the social programs that other
neighborhoods might have; also might have different family structures;
might be a lot of movement in and out of the neighborhood and it’s difficult
to establish a strong cohesiveness
2. The Self
Point is that the self is constructed socially idea that it’s constructed in
interaction and that we construct it in relation to other people
Symbolic Interactionism is associated with the Chicago school - best way
to illustrate is by talking about Mead he was writing in 1930s, Mead said
that we develop a sense of ourselves early on children learn to role-play
and take on a different character to be someone else
In this process, they can stand outside of themselves, perceptually speaking
When people turn into a self-reflexive process Mead connected it to
language he talks about the “I” and the “me”
The “I” is the subject – the actor “me” is the object – he sees the “I” as
the agent it’s the one making the decision – it’s the doer
The “I” is conceptually blind to itself – it can’t see itself – you need the “me”
The “me” embodies our sense of other people’s points of view
The “me” is the collective other – we have a sense of ourselves by taking on
imagining ourselves as someone else
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