CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Social Control Theory, Control Theory, Albert Reiss

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30 Nov 2016
CRIM 2650 Lecture 09 Control Theories
Park’s Human Ecology
- Darwin’s influence
Struggle for existence: dominance, invasion, succession in the city (competition)
Web of life: symbolic relationships in the city (cooperation)
- Survival of the fittest … SEE SLIDE
- Park was influenced by Darwin but differs from Social Darwinism in his emphasis on
cooperation, social and moral order in the city
- However, Park’s emphasis on “dominance, invasion, succession in the city” still implies
that those are natural processes
Introduction: Main Theme
- Control theorists follow the opposite approach. The questions asked by control theorists:
Why most people do not commit crime? Why most people conform? (does not focus on
the biological, psychological or social forces)
I.e. not all individuals living in poverty or in a disorganized neighbourhood will
commit crime
E.g. they are not interested I analyzing criminal and delinquents. They are more
interested in analyzing majority of individuals who do not commit crime and conform to
- According to control theorists, all individuals would naturally commit crime if it weren’t
for social or self-restraints on their egotistic tendencies
Intellectual Influences on Control Theory
Classical Criminology *
Durkheim *
Chicago School *
Social Disorganization
Social psychology
Sigmund Freud
Jean Piaget
Influence of the Classical Criminology
- Understanding of human nature
- Individuals are selfish and egotistic in nature
- Pleasure and plain principle
- Control theory puts strong emphasis on rationally and free-will of criminals in contrast to
other sociological theories crime (e.g. strain, subcultural theories)
- Some differences from the Classical Theory:
Social controls rather than simply or only the existence of (proportional) punishment
‘Social self’, not only ‘egotistic self’
Influence of Durkheim I
- Anomie: lack of regulation in society and individual desires
Collapse of social solidarity
Weak social bonds
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- Importance of integration and regulation
Those who have strong networks and firm beliefs in conventional moral order are
generally not prone to delinquency
Influence of Durkheim II
- Human Nature
Egotistic Self Driven by natural impulses and infinite desires
Social Self product of socialization
- There are differences between Durkheim and control theory
Durkheim didn’t pay much attention to family and control theorists did
Influence on the Chicago School and Psychology
- Social Disorganization
Breakdown of controls in neighourhoods
Contemporary scholars combine Chicago School and Control Theory
- Control theory is critical of the subcultural aspect of the Chicago School
- Social Psychology
Charles Cooley looking glass self” (refers to the process of how individuals
construct themselves through interactions and responses of others. Through this process,
individuals can see themselves as invert of extrovert. How the concept of others shape the
social self)
G. Herbert Mead generalized other” (Refers to friends, family members, peers etc.
individuals perceive themselves indirectly through generalized others. How they form a
social self)
- Influence of Psychology
Sigmund Freud (egotistic desires)
Jean Piaget (child psychology) influence of parents
Historical Context of Control Theories
- 1950s Ideals of the conventional/patriarchal family, conventional values, conventional
- 1960s Weakening of conventional institutions, values and controls
Progressive social movements
Alternative cultural movements
Control Theory follows a conservative perspective
- 1980s Neo-Conservative Period
Integrating individuals into existing institutions rather than reforming/transforming
existing institutions
Early Control Theorists
- Albert Reiss
Importance of primary groups (family, neighbourhood, school)
- F. Ivan Nye
Direct control, internalized control. Indirect control, and control through alternative
means, goals of need satisfaction
- Walter Reckless
Factors in outer
Factors … (SEE SLIDE)
Techniques of neutralization: Skyes and Matza
- Critique of the subculture theory
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