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Lecture 1

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Social Control Class 1 January 10, 2011 Introduction Outline  Introduction to the course  Introduction to social control What is Social Control?  Contested concept  There are different views on what social control is.  Changing definitions  Cohen’s definition  He says that earlier definitions of social control talked about it broadly (anything that lends structure to society. Ex. Expectations around gender, socialization, etc. into particular roles). So earlier definitions of SC looked at it from a socialization perspective and as the things that give the social world order.  For this class, we will look at social control as responding to acts of deviance.  Sometimes, people look at informal and formal social control. This can be problematic because it isn’t always clear whether something is formal or informal. School is considered an institution of social control but how do you classify it? There are peer dynamics, teacher expectations, etc. and there are many diverse things related to education that don’t slot easily into informal and formal social control.  Informal vs. Formal  Informal: Rules through interaction  Formal: Laws and policies  Proactive vs. Reactive  Proactive: More preventative measures (MADD campaigns)  Reactive: Responses (Social Policies)  They provide the same dilemma as informal and social control in that things aren’t always easy to stream into one or the other category. Regulations typically walk the proactive reactive line.  Hard-edge vs. Soft-edge  Hard Edge: is more formal  Soft-Edge: Often normalized and more informal. Donald Black: The Social Structure of Right and Wrong  A sociology of social control  Self-help  Form/Style/Quantity  -He is a good way of trying to get your head around thinking sociologically about what social control looks like. He looks at the scientific study of social control. He thinks you can predict SC and that you can understand it through the rules of sociology. He is famous for thinking about crime as a type of social control. So murder (ex) could be a version of someone trying to control someone else’s behaviour.  He codifies this form. Unilateral (self-harm), and bilateral (a dual). Trilateral (another party involved like courts, polic
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