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Lecture #11-Social Psychological Dimensions of Social Control.docx

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Tyler Frederick

Lecture #11 April 3, 2012 Social Psychological Dimensions of Social Control Race and Control - overrepresentation in the prison system  aboriginal 4% general vs. 18% in prison  black: 2% vs. 5% - prisons don’t reflect the general population - racial profiling  2002 Toronto Star stories: o Toronto police service denied racial profiling and hired experts to critique the Toronto Star stories  one of the problems is how to identify bias, there are a few main indicators o how many times drivers of a particular race are stopped and compare that to the general population, if the numbers don’t match there is cause for concern o however there can be other potential explanations for this difference in numbers, like more patrol cars in areas with high numbers of that ethnicity etc o you can also look at drug stops and what the officer chose to do in certain situations depending on race, whether they let them go, or brought them in, etc (77% of whites were released at the scene, compared to 62% of blacks)  critiques o there can be many other factors that can explain such differences o some factors can be correlated with race, but not racial profiling  evidence o if after taking into account all the other potential factors that could affect the numbers, and there is still a significant difference in numbers then you have evidence of racial profiling o they control for demographic factors, and neighbourhood factors and find that the gaps still exist o class and age protect white drivers, however it’s the opposite for black men (a white male driving a nice car is seen as respectable, whereas a black male driving a nice car is seen as cause for concern) o Wortley and Tanner (2003, 2005) – 50% of black students report having been questioned by the police, compared to 23% of white students, and 11% of Asians) o racial profiling is more apparent for non-delinquent individuals, when the groups are delinquent the differences are lessLecture #11 April 3, 2012  Fitzgerald and Carrington (2011) see it as two hypotheses o differential offending: while there is an overrepresentation of certain groups, it’s because of real differences in seriousness, incidents, and persistence of offending; it’s because certain groups commit more crimes o differential treatments: overrepresentation results from decision making processes which operate differently for members of different racial groups – three versions:  police pay more attention to certain groups, and racial minorities are overrepresented, people that hang out in certain places, or at night-time, etc  police pay more attention to certain places, certain neighbourhoods where racial minorities are overrepresented  police bias o this increased contact is explained in part by involvement in more serious crime o it’s also partially explained by risk factors, like low-income, running away or staying out all night, living in an unsafe neighbourhood, and living in large cities o once the first two explanations are controlled for, the only explanation left is police bias Identity - more connected to social order and earlier definitions of social control - theories of identity:  role: expectations and rules attached to particular social positions – learned through socialization – when we take on certain positions we take on the rules associated with them in our society, we play certain roles o critique of it is that it argues that actors end up looking over-
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