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Lecture 1 Term 2

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Western University
Sociology 2259
Pamela Cushing

Social Control Theories of Deviance Day 1 of a bunch Social Control Theories of Deviance - The question: why do people commit crime? Is transformed with Social Control Theories to… “Why don’t more people do it?” - Control Theories assume that everyone is capable of deviance - We are all born deviants? o Uh I guess by someone’s standards - When social control works, it creates conformity; when it fails, it does not necessarily create deviance, it just provides the individual with opportunities to choose a deviant path - Focus: socialization and supervision - Back to the realm of positivism o Objective approach! Travis Hirschi: Social Bond Theory - Why aren’t you a criminal? - Answer: A stake in conformity o Think of the social contract? o This is where classical theory influenced this - Deviance occurs when social bonds become weak or broken o If you care what people think then you will probably not deviate but if you don’t give a shit then you’ll be huffing glue before you know it - Fundamental bias in this theory towards the “ideal” family o Family is the primary socializing factor in this theory o There’s a bias towards quote-unquote good family  The nuclear family, mom and dad  The middle to upper class  White people  Conforming  Attain their goals through legitimate means  Strict traditional gender roles  Focus on this theory is stay-at-home moms • Kind of super oppressive, right? Hirschi’s Four Main Types of Bonds 1) Attachment o To significant others (family  mom, dad etc) o To “reference others” (people we aspire to be life, people we use as a reference for who we want to be like)  An extreme lack of attachment is psychopathic  Regular teenagers have a healthy level of resentment and lack of attachment to their parents  A lack of attachment leads towards deviant behaviour  Strong attachments to their family don’t do drugs, lol - Commitment o To occupational aspirations o The higher your career aspirations are, the more you conform o VERY CLASSIST  What about the lower class?  It’s all been proven wrong so fuck this guy - Involvement o The keep um busy idea o Keep your kids doing stuff so they don’t become fucking weird o If they’re skating all the time they can’t do drugs - Belief o Youth is invested in the norms and values of their family and school o There’ll be a stronger commitment to these beliefs obviously if you believe in the norms Walter Reckless: Containment Theory - Early version of social control perspective - Focus: On INNER and OUTER factors that “contain” the average person but are weak or absent in deviants o Inner controls are self controls  DIRECT  Where your conscience steers you in the right direction • “I’m not going to mug that old lady”  INDIRECT  how we want to be seen: • Want to be accepted • Have an investment in dominant norms o Out
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