SOC313H1 Lecture Notes - George Herbert Mead, Informal Social Control, Social Disorganization Theory

10 views5 pages
25 Apr 2012

For unlimited access to Class Notes, a Class+ subscription is required.

Lecture #2 January 17, 2012
History of the Concept of Social Control and Theories
Origins of the Concept
- coined by Herbert Spencer, a social philosopher
- popularized and developed by Edward Ross in 1901, who used it in the
earlier form which was a general reflection on everything that keeps society
- predated by long standing concerns with order
The Chicago School
- first people to really start talking about social control
- based in Chicago in the 1890s to 1920s
- it was a changing approach to understanding social life
- focused on the idea of how people made sense of things in that moment
- occurred when there was a lot of urbanization and people moving into the
city from rural areas that had never seen city life before; a group of
academics started to look at what occurred in the cities in terms of social
- they were very pragmatic and tried to see things from the perspectives of
people in those situations
- when it came to social control two things came out of the Chicago School
social disorganization:
o the inability of a neighbourhood to solve their problems
o lack of a sense of community that leads to disorganization that
leads to crime
o they saw what was happening with immigrants from different
places all in one place and the conflict that arose between them
o the institutions of informal social control are breaking down in
this type of community
the self:
o the self is constructed socially; it is not something you are born
with, it’s constructed in interaction and in relation to other
o the self is inherently social; social control is embedded in our
very sense of who we are, there is no way to be outside of
social influence
- development of the symbolic interactionist approach:
George Herbert Mead says that we develop a sense of ourselves early
on as children learn to role play and in learning to do this they can
learn to stand outside of themselves; a self-reflexive process
Mead connected this to language
he differentiated the “I” and the “me”, the “I” being the subject or the
actor, and the “me” is the object
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Lecture #2 January 17, 2012
o the “I” is the agent, and the thing making the decision, the doer;
but the “I” is conceptually blind to itself, that’s where you need
the “me”
o the “me” embodies our sense of other people’s points of view,
the collective other; we have a sense of ourselves as imagining
ourselves as someone else
- the idea that order and control is fundamentally social; social disorganization
is social control at the group level and the self is social control at the
individual level
- the Chicago School fell out fashion a bit during the 1950s when functionalism
became more influential, but it started to come back in the 60s and came
back with an infatuation with deviance
- Becker says that social control is about the relationship between individuals
and society, and even more specifically deviance is about this relationship
- Becker and Lemert say that deviance is socially constructed
- Lemert says that deviance itself comes out of social control; how society
responds to you influences criminality, control itself can contribute to crime;
labelling perspective
he made the distinction between primary and secondary deviance
o primary is the first act of deviance that goes unnoticed
o secondary is that you are labelled for deviant behaviour as a
deviant and your reaction to this is more deviant behaviour
- Becker takes this one step further and says that things are deviant because
people in power say they are deviant; he’s saying that deviant things are not
necessarily inherently bad, they’ve just been labelled as such
he says in this way, social control produces deviance because the
behaviour wouldn’t really be deviant without it being labelled as such
e.g. alcohol is more harmful than marijuana yet is legal, but marijuana
is labelled as deviant
- inspired by Durkheim
- basic idea behind functionalism is that you can think about society as you can
think about a body, the systems in a society work together like different
organs or parts of a body; if one of those systems in a society breaks down or
“gets sick” then you get disorder
- Durkheim’s idea of the collective conscious
- he said that punishment reinforces that collective conscious
- he said that some level of crime is necessary
- this type of thinking is popular in social responses to emotionally charged
events, when something terrible happens and it evokes the same response in
society it triggers the collective conscious
- interactionists are less moralizing and there isn’t this assumption of crime
being necessary or good
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 5 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class