SOC 2700 Chapter Notes -Bayesian Network, Impulsivity, Social Control Theory

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8 Apr 2013
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Chapter 16: Integrated Theories
- some criminologists believe that the falsification process has failed to work
- they turn to integration as a way to reduce the number of theories
- they argue that different theories do not contradict each other, but instead focus on
different aspects of the same phenomenon about which they make different
predictions
- these theories can therefore be combined through integration into a smaller number of
larger theories
Elliotʼs Integrated Theory of Delinquency and Drug Use
- combines strain, control and social learning perspectives
- integrated theories in two steps:
- first, they integrated strain theory with social control theory, then they integrated the
combined strain-control theory with social learning theory
- in their view, strain theory argues that delinquency is a response to actual or
anticipated failure to achieve socially induced needs or goals, while social control
theory contends that the strength of an individualʼs bonds to conventional society is
inversely related to the probability that the individual will engage in delinquent
behaviour
- argued that the probability of delinquency should be highest when an individual
experiences both more strain and less control
- argued that social disorganization should also increase strain and strain should reduce
social control
- second, they incorporated the social learning theory that argues that delinquency is
affected by the balance between the rewards and punishments that are associated
with both conforming and deviant patterns of socialization
- argued that the amount of exposure to delinquent attitudes and behaviours within the
peer groups is the primary factor that affects the probability of delinquent behaviour
- modified control theory to take into account the type of group with which the individual
bonds
- control theory bolds that the content of socialization always favors conformity and that
there are no strong bonds within deviant groups
- in contrast, social learning theory holds that the content of socialization can favor
either deviance or conformity
- they integrated these two theories by hypothesizing that deviant behaviour is most
likely when there are strong bonds to deviant groups and weak bonds to conventional
groups
- the third step is integrating strain, control and social learning theories is to propose a
single like of causation that includes variables from all three theories
- strain, inadequate socialization, and social disorganization all lead to weak
conventional bonding
- these failures the lead to strong delinquent bonding, and then delinquent behaviour
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The Falsification Versus Integration Debate
- Hirschi argued against integration as a strategy stating that most criminology theories
are contradictory because their assumptions are incompatible
- theories must be tested on their own for internal consistency and explanatory power or
against other theories
- theories can be integrated only if they essentially argue the same thing
- theorists in favor of integration responded to this arguing that the oppositional tradition
in criminology had failed (falsification)
- he argued that theoretical competition is pointless because most of the time the
different theories explain different portions of the variance in crime
- Hirschi expanded on his argument acknowledging that criminology theory has failed
but did not see integration as a solution to the problem
Braithwaiteʼs Theory of Reintegrative Shaming
- draws on labeling, subcultural, opportunity, control, differential association and social
learning theories
- rather than combine arguments from earlier theories, he created a new theoretical
concept - reintegrative shaming - and showed how that concept organizes the
arguments of a large number of other theories
- described shaming as all social processes of expressing disapproval which have the
intention or effect of invoking remorse in the person being shamed and/or
condemnation of others who become aware of the shaming
- he divided shaming into 2 types: stigmatization (when the shaming brings about a
feeling of deviance in the shamed) and reintegration (when the shamers ensure that
they maintain bonds with the shamed)
- reintegrative shaming occurs when violators are shamed into knowing that what they
did is wrong but are nonetheless allowed reentry into the conforming group
- the core argument is that reintegrative shaming leads to lower crime rates, whereas
stigmatization shaming leads to higher crime rates
- individuals with more social bonding are more likely to receive reintegrative shaming
and are less likely to commit crime
- labeling theory is drawn upon to explain stigmatization, once an individual is
stigmatized, they are more likely to participate in a deviant subculture and crime
- this theory acts on a structural level, greater urbanization and mobility (social
disorganization) lessen the chance that societal communitarianism will exist
- communitarianism, or the interdependence among individuals in a culture, tends to be
associated with reintegration, while its absence leads to stigmatization, and its
consequent blockage of legitimate opportunities, formation of subcultures, presence of
illegitimate opportunities and higher crime rates
- this theory has been linked to the much larger restorative justice movement, which
responds to crime by attempting to restore victims, offenders, and communities to their
condition prior to the crime
- reintegrative shaming refers to restoring offenders to their condition before the offense
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