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2C06 E - Outline - 4 February and 11 February.doc
2C06 E - Outline - 4 February and 11 February.doc

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McMaster University
Denis Wall

SOCI2C06 E – Deviance 4 February and 11 February Social control and regulation Readings - Deutschmann, ch. 11 - Adler & Adler, ch. 9: Hirschi, “Control Theory” SEMINAR: discussion of assignment 1 (February 11) Social Control Theory 1. Basic assumptions of social control theories i.- external controls taking the form of punishments for deviant behavior ii.- internal controls established by the socialization process Social control theorists ask the following sorts of questions: i.- does existence of rules guarantee peaceful existence of the group? ii.- who is to ensure compliance with such rules They are interested in learning why people conform to norms E.A. Ross (1866-1955) Believed that belief systems, not specific laws, guide what individuals do Belief: the moral concept of right and wrong Social control theory is viewed from two perspectives: i. - macrosocial perspective a.- the legal system such as laws, law enforcement, powerful groups in society (who can help influence laws and norms) and b.- economic and social directives of government or private organizations ii. - microsocial perspective focuses on informal control systems, as a way of explaining why individuals conform 1 2. Perspectives on social control Social control theorists maintain that all people have the potential to violate the law and that modern society presents many opportunities for illegal activity 3. Early versions of containment theory Early versions of control theory speculated that deviance and criminality was a product of weak self-concept and poor self-esteem a. Albert Reiss Described delinquents as having weak egos and lacking the self-control to produce conforming behavior b. Walter Reckless’ containment Theory Containment theory tries to show that society produces a series of pulls and pushes toward delinquency i.- inner containments are “self” components - the inner strength of one’s personality - a good self-concept - strong ego - well developed conscience - high sense of responsibility, and - high frustration tolerance ii.- outer containments refer to a person’s social environment - the normative constraints in which society and groups use to control its members - belonging (identification with the group) - effective supervision - cohesion among group members (togetherness) - opportunities for achievement - reasonable limits and responsibilities - alternative ways and means of satisfaction (if one or more ways are closed) - reinforcement of goals, norms values - discipline 2 Basic proposition is that there are “pushes” and “pulls” that will produce delinquent behavior unless they are counteracted by containment i.- the motivations to deviate as “pushes” include things like: - discontent with living conditions and family conflicts - aggressiveness and hostility, perhaps due to biological factors - frustration and boredom (e.g. arising from membership of a minority group or through lack of opportunities to advance in school or find employment) - internal pushes are personal factors which include - restlessness - discontent - rebellion - anxiety, and - hostility ii.- and the motivations to deviate as “pulls” are - delinquent pe
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