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Lecture #2-History of the Concept of Social Control and Theories.docx

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Tyler Frederick

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 together - 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 problems - 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 together 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 people 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 objectLecture #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 Functionalism - 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 goodLecture #2 January 17, 2012 - functionalists think that control is essential to order (can be seen
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