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Chapter 8

SOC*1500 Chapter 8

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SOC 1500
Mavis Morton

Chapter 8 Social Process Theories  Neighbourhood deterioration and disorganization alone cannot explain why one person commits crime, while another person living in the same environment obeys the law, gets an education, and had a legitimate job SOCIAL PROCESS THEORIES are approaches that look at the operation of formal and informal social institutions, such as socialization within family, peer groups, schools and legal system  These theorists believe that criminality is a function of socialization, and these theories draw attention to the interactions people have with others SOCIALIZATION is the process of human development and enculturalization, with primary socialization taking place in the family, and secondary socialization in institutions  Social process theories share one basic concept: all people regardless of race, class or gender, have the potential of becoming delinquent or law-abiding citizen  If developmental factors are dysfunctional, they can result in anti-social behaviour Social Processes and Crime  Parenting factors play a critical role in determining whether individuals misbehave as children and as adults  Family disruption is associated with an increase in delinquency  The family structure plays a role in the delinquency of children  Studies show that children who do poorly in school, lack motivation and feel alienated, are most likely to engage in criminal behaviour  Peer group has a powerful psychological effect on human conduct, influencing decision making and behaviour choices, and this effect has been observed in many cultures  Children rejected by their peers, are more likely to display aggressive behaviour and disrupt group activities through bickering and antisocial behaviour  Children who engage in positive social behaviours such as going to church are generally less likely to be violent  Church is a traditional form of social control and secondary institutional socialization Branches of Social Process Theory SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY is the view that human behaviour is modeled through observation of human interactions, either from directly observing those who are close and intimate, or indirectly through the media. Rewarded interactions are copied, those that are punished are avoided CONTROL THEORY is an approach that looks at the ability of society and its institutions to control, manage, restrain, or direct human behaviour; sometimes called social control theory LABELING THEORY is the view that society creates deviance through a system of social control agencies that designate individual behaviour as deviant. The stigmatized individual feels unwanted, believes that the deviant label is accurate, and assumes it as an identity  Social learning theory assumes that people are born good and learn to be bad  Control theory assumes that people are born bad and must be controlled in order to be good  Labeling theory assumes that whether good or bad, people are controlled by the reactions of others Social Learning Theory Differential Association Theory - People learn to commit crime from exposure to antisocial definitions - The theory explains the onset of criminality and the presence of crime in all elements of social structure - Explains why some people in high-crime areas refrain from criminality and can apply to juveniles and adults - The research focuses on measuring definitions toward crime and the influence of deviant peers and parents DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY is the principle that criminal acts are related to a person’s exposure to an excess amount of antisocial attitudes and values The basic principles of differential association are: 1. Crime is learned in the same manner as any other behaviour 2. Crime is learned in interaction with other persons, not by living in a criminogenic environment, or by having personal traits 3. Learning deviance occurs within intimate personal groups 4. Learning deviance includes learning the techniques for committing crime and learning motives, rationalizations and attitudes 5. Because the reaction to social rules is not uniform across society, people come in contact with others who maintain different views on whether to obey the legal code 6. A criminal perceives more benefits than unfavourable consequences in violating the law and are more favourable to criminality 7. Differential associations vary in frequency, duration, priority and intensity 8. Learning definitions favourable to criminality produces illegal behaviour  DA theory holds that people learn criminal attitudes and behaviour while in adolescence from close and trusted relatives and companions  DA theory explains criminality among middle and upper class Differential Reinforcement Theory - Criminal behaviour depends on the person’s experiences with rewards for conventional behaviours and punishment for deviant ones. Being rewarded for deviance leads to crime - The theory adds psychological learning theory principles to differential associational. Links sociological and psychological principles - The research focuses on the cause of criminal activity and how the content of socialization conditions crime DIFFERENTIAL REINFORCEMENT THEORY states that crime is a type of learned behaviour, combining differentia
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