SOC313H1 Lecture Notes - Postcolonialism

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25 Apr 2012
Lecture #1: Introduction January 10, 2012
What is Social Control?
- ways of controlling people’s behaviour in society
- contested concept
- changing definitions
- definition: organized responses to crime, delinquency and allied forms of
deviant and/or socially problematic behaviour which are actually conceived
as such whether in the reactive sense or in the proactive sense
- Cohen’s definition
earlier definitions of social control emphasize all the things that give
society structure, and socialization of people
Cohen focuses on control as responding to acts of deviance (e.g.
- informal vs. formal
informal: through interactions and socialization
formal: laws, rules, policies
it’s not always clear the distinction between the two (e.g. is school
informal or formal, even law enforcement can straddle the two)
- proactive vs. reactive
proactive: pre-emptive (e.g. campaigns for seatbelts)
reactive: as a response to a deviant act
however most walk the line between either, such as regulations which
are put in place as reactions, but are pre-emptive strikes to prevent
future incidents
- hard-edge vs. soft-edge
hard-edge: prison, fines
soft-edge: therapy
Changing Social Control
- social control shifts over time
- post-modern/late modern
modern -> colonialism
post-modern -> post-colonialism
- trends in social control
e.g. Facebook, notion of identity and having multiple identities, being
able to control your identity
Donald Black: The Social Structure of Right and Wrong
- a sociology of social control
- self-help
- form/style/quantity
- thinks you can predict social control outcomes based on social statuses and
what not
- form:
- four different kinds of style:
penal (punishing or deterring a particular type of act)
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