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Chapter 8

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SOC 1500
Andrew Hathaway

Chapter 8 Review: Social Process theories: - One basic concept: o All people, regardless of race, class, or gender, have the potential to become delinquent or law-abiding citizens - Social process theorists focus attention on the socialization of youths Basic Premise: - Criminality is a function of socialization - Everyone has the potential to be criminal o However not everyone turns to crime o Less than 0.5% of people responsible for the majority of crimes in 2006 - We need to examine the “agents” of socialization o E.g family, school, peer groups, religion - Socialization: o The process of human development and enculturation, with primary socialization taking place in the family, and secondary socialization in institutions. o Socialization is as important as social structure to understanding crime Social Process: Family Relations - Parenting factors play a critical role in determining whether an individual misbehaves as children and as adults - Conflict and tension o Ages 4 to 9 are critical- windows of opportunity for kids, parental intervention is significant to them - Separation and divorce- plays a role in a childs life, determines how they might turn out later in the future - Single parenthood o Difficult for single parent to make up for the loss of the second parent, and so the chances of failure increases o Hard to find adequate supervision for the children, aid with school work o Poor achievement and limited educational aspirations lead to delinquent behaviours o Especially important for girls  Girls in single-based families vs girls in a two-based family is greater then boys in a single-based family o Family type is important than low-income in predicting behavioural, and emotional difficulties in children - Blended families o Remarriage does not make the childs life any better o Encourages more issues o Leads to more delinquent behaviours o U.S national longitudinal survey of youth suggests that divorce will have an effect on delinquency only when a two-parent family structure is not re-established  Contradicts the points above o Having an intact family structure is important - Inconsistent discipline and poor supervision o Relationship with parents o Lack of love and support - Parental deviance o Mental health problems, drug abuse o Children more likely to follow the path of their parents o Children more likely to grow up into criminals - Child abuse and neglect o The cycle of violence  Children who are physically victimized and who witness interparental violence have an increased risk of adult-hood child and partner abuse  It is not automatic, happens due to some incident in the childs lifetime o Witnessing violence at home results in a short-term and long-term behavioral problems Social Process: Educational Experience - Children who do poorly at school, and lack motivation likely to engage in criminal acts - Successful school performance is an insulating factor in delinquency - Aggression being a reaction to others in school, leading to more bullying and teasing - Children who scored higher on reading achievment tests were less likely to be involved in delinquent acts - “streaming” or tracking (labelling) o Stigmatizes  Students who get expelled and are drop-outs have a more likely chance to entering a criminal career  Can reduce employment chances - Research done by sprott at Ryerson o Tested the fact that classroom climate would have an important effect on children‟s perceptions and behaviours  “Climate” as either emotional or instrumental support (academic support) - Differential school funding o Sometimes school are unfunded, underfunded and understaffed - Crime occurs at school o Surveys indicate that a lot of youth crimes occur within the schools themselves o 10 percent of youth crimes occurred on school property  27 percent out of the 10 percent was assault and 18 percent was drug - Stigmatize: o To create an enduring label that taints a person‟s identity and changes him or her in the eyes of others. Social Processess: Peer Relations - Peer groups have a large psychological effect on human conduct - Acceptance and Popularity o From age 8 and 14- seek out a stable peer group - Influence on decision-making o Friends will have a greater influence on decision-making than parents o Being able to share their feelings with peers - Cliques and crowds o Physical, relational bullying o Boys victims of physical bullying o Girls girls victims of relational bullying (being ostracized) - Source of social skills o Unpopular kids more antisocial o Popular kids do well in school and are more socially astute o Being able to express themselves among their peers who understand their situation - Gang activity o Peer support delinquency o Falling into a “bad crowd” o Sometimes leading to delinquent acts o “Peer pressure” Social processes: Insitutional Involvement and Belief - Religious beliefs and values o People who have strong moral beliefs and values o Less important than participation - Religious participation o Attendance at religious services has a significant impact on crime o Decreases drug use and crime o Participation in other organized activities,  Ex. Sports, insulates against deviance  Church attendance was associated with a reduction in alcohol use, also drug use Branches of Social Process Theory - Social learning theory o Techniques and attitudes are learned from significant others o The view that human behaviour is modelled through observation of human interactions, either directly (watchin peers or those who are intimate) or indirectly (media) o People are born “good” but learn to be “bad”, and must be controlled to be “good” o People are controlled by the reactions of others - Control theory o An Approach that looks at the ability of society and its institutions to control, manage, restrain etc. o Social bonds control individual behaviour o Crime occurs when the social bonds are broken or weakened - Labelling theory o People become criminals when significant members of soceity label them as such and they accept those labels as a personal identity Social Learning Theory: o Social learning can involve the actual technique of crime and the psychological aspects of criminality 1) Differential Association - Edwim H. Sutherland (1883-1950) o Made the DA theory in 1939 o Said that crime is a function of the inadequency of people in the lower classes o Introduced the concept of “white collar crime” o Challenged the stereotype of crime as a lower-class phenomenon o Said crime learned like any other behaviour  It is a function of a learning process that could affect anyone - Differential Association: o Principle that criminal acts are related to a person‟s exposure to an excess amount of antisocial attittudes and values - Criminal attitudes and skills are learned just like any other behaviour o Through interaction o With significant others - Criminal learning includes skills and motives o Learning the techniques and skills to commit a crime - Significant others give definitions favourable or unfavourable to law-breaking o Leading to delinquenct behaviours - Too many definitions favourable to breaking the law results in deviance - Associations vary in priority, frequency, duration and intensity - Criminal behaviour results from general needs and values, not special needs and values - DA states that people learn criminal behaviours and attitude while in their adolescence from close and trusted relatives and companions - Implies that criminals maintain close and intimate relations with deviant peers - Research shows that o Deviant friends are particularly important in illegal drug behaviours  “I had a friend of mine who was an older guy and he introduced me to selling marijuana to make a few dollars” o Recently cultivated friendships are more important in deviant behaviours o Reiss and Rhodes found an association btwn delinquent friendship patterns and youth crime o Warr found that anti-social kids who maintain delinquent friends over a long duration are more likely to persist in delinquent behaviours o Recent friendships have a greater chance of criminal acts than from earlier times of the adolescents - However there are concerns with the DA theory; misconceptions and criticisms o People don‟t usually become criminals through learning but socializing with deviant groups or being exposed to deviant behaviours (family, friends) 2) Differential Reinforcement Theory o Defines that crime is a type of learned behaviour, combining differential association with elements of psychological learning - Akers and Burgess (1966) o Combines differential association theory with elements of psychological learning theory o People are neither “all deviant or conforming” but have a balance of the two o It can be a Direct conditioning:  Occurs when behaviour is either rewarder or punished during interaction with others o Differential association:  Involves learning from direct or indirect interactions with others o Deviant behaviour may start as imitation  Observational learning experiences  Behaviour is reinforced by rewards or absence of punishment (negative reinforcement)  Is weakened by punishment (negative stimuli) and loss of reward - Main influence o Groups that control reinforcement and punishment - Aker‟s research of teen drug behaviour o Kids who believe they will be rewarded for deviance by those they respect are most likely to be deviant - Associates may be chosen because they reinforce deviant behaviour 3) Neutralization theory - An approach holds that offenders adhere to conventional values while drifting into periods of illegal behaviour by neutralizing legal and moral values - Sykes and Matza (1957) o Most criminals hold conventional values and attitudes o People “drift” btwn deviant and conventional behaviours  Some people are not “all good” and “all bad”  They drift btwn deviance and constraint o Techniques of neutralization justify the deviance and paves the way for further deviance  Criminals sometimes voice a sense of guilt over their illegal acts  They frequently respect and admire honest law-abinding persons  Draw a line btwn those whom they can victimize and those whom they cannot  Not immune to the demands of conformity o Subterranean values exist side by side with conventional values in the larger culture  Ex. Watching porn - Techniques of Neutralization o Denial of responsibility o Denial of injury o Denial of victim o Condemnation of the condemners o Appeal to higher loyalties o The defence of neccessity o The metaphor of the ledger o The denial of the necessity of the law o The claim that everybody is doing it o The claim of entitlement Social Control Theories: - Key issue o All people are tempted to be deviant o All people have the potential to violate the law and that modern society presents many opportunities for illegal activity o Some do not violate the law because they have a commitment to conformity  Positive orientation to the rules of society, where the individual internalizes those rules - Emphasis o Self-concept, self-esteem o Reiss described how delinquents had weak “ego ideals” and lacked “personal controls” o Youths who perceive self-rejection are the ones most likely to engage in deviant behaviours - Research o Self-report surveys to identify “good boys” in bad neighbourhoods 1) Containment theory o Internal and external factors that insulate youths from delinquency promoting situations, like strong self-concept and positive support from parents and teachers - Walter Reckless (1967) o Argued that youths who live in a criminogenic area can move away from the crime if they have a strong self-esteem.  Postive self-image and ego strength - Deviance is motivated by o Internal Pushes (personal factors) o External pressures (poverty, unemployment, status) o External pulls (deviant peers) - A positive self-image and ego strength counteract these forces o Ability for youths to resist crime depends on their positive self-esteem - Commitment to conformity: o A positive orientation to the rules of society, where t
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