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Chapter 11

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Nathan Innocente

Sarah HirjiCHAPTER 11 Social Control TheoriesIntroductionSocial control theories do not ask why deviants commit deviant acts at least not directly They deem it selfevident that many kinds of deviance are alluring exciting and relatively easy routes to fun and profit Further we are all born deviants 1When social control works it creates conformity when it fails it does not cause deviance but simply allows the individual to choose the deviant path This approach is compatible with biological and psychiatric explanations since these theories assume that people will have drives and needs that must be restrained if civilization is to be maintained but in control theory the emphasis is on barriers or lack of them rather than the nature of the drives and needs The main research technique used in control theories has been the statistical analysis of selfreport data from large nonrandom samples of highschool or undergraduate students 1Although control theory has achieved status as a systematic scientific approach and remains one of the leading explanations of delinquent deviance it has sometimes done so at a cost to the depth of its contribution to the understanding of deviance as a whole WALTER RECKLESS AND CONTAINMENT THEORY Containment theory was an early version of social control perspective Inner ControlsAccording to the containment theory the individual experiences in varying degrees feelings of inferiority hostility anger rebellion and even organically based urges towards deviant gratifications If these inner pressures toward deviance are uncontrolled deviance will occur Inner controls are selfcontrols They may be direct or indirect 1Direct inner control is evidence by the ability to feel guilt and shame and not to respond to this with effective neutralizations2Indirect inner control is based on the individuals rational interest in maintaining a stake of conformityOuter ControlsExternal factors such as poverty relative deprivation adversity insecurity deviant companions and deviant opportunities can make deviance more likely unless contained by controlsLike inner controls outer controls may be direct or indirect 1Direct outer controls are external to the individual and usually carry with them the threat of sanctions2Indirect outer controls are mainly relationalcontrol derives from the need to maintain role relationships Overall containment theory research showed that inner controls were more significant to the control of deviance than were external controlsTRAVIS HIRSCHI AND SOCIAL BONDING
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