and Control Theories
ideas drawn from Goode, 1994-2008
and Pfohl, Images of Deviance and Social Control, 1985. See the disclaimer)
Shift in focus: Social Causation
- Normative definition of deviance,
- Social Pathology==>the City
- Society==> System of rules
and values that bind us together.
- Change is the problem
- Deviance==>Is the product
of the disorder that is produced in the transition from one state
of order to another
Deviance becomes seen as a "natural"
problem for all societies, across time: a spatial/socio-ecological reality (localized
Social Ecology (Cecil greek's notes) (Park
- Society as Superorganism.
- Change as natural.
- Organized area is invaded ==>
competition ==>succession or accommodation==>reorganization.
- During stage of competition==>
Disorganization: breakdown in the normative structure of the community==>Deviance.
- Can't stop change, nor the
problems associated with it, BUT sociologists can assist in reorganization
Sources of Change:
- Science and Technology
- Population growth, especially
immigration and migration.
- Economic restructuring--unemployment.
Change as a Threat
- To existing "Social Order"
- Challenge to dominance of traditional
WASP Middle Class: Nativism
- Need to control deviance and
the populations (ethnic/racial groups) that were seen as producing it.
- Goal: Reorganization based
on traditional assumptions about the "natural order of society"
- Intervention to reorganize.
- Sociologists as technicians
- Create stable environment for
- Secure a problematic population
as a reliable source of workers
- Community Development
"A decrease in the influence
of existing social rules of behavior upon the individual members of the group.
An area where social institutions, norms and values, are no longer functioning."
Without normative constraint==>Anything
on the "natural" areas of competition.
"borrowed" this image from Bruce Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org) who manages www.crimetheory.com )
- Chicago as a living laboratory
- The city evolves through radial
- Areas closest to the dynamic core
are most impact by change.
- Zone 2 the transition zone is
seen as primary area for deviance
- Pushed by industrial expansion
- Center of residence for newly
arrived immigrants and migrants
- High levels of mobility
- Unemployment, Single-parent households
- Variety of cultural groups and
- Quantitative study, relies on
official statistics: Spot maps, rate maps and area maps
- Located highest concentration
of J.D. in neighborhoods in zone 2.
- Project: Chicago Area Project--
community reorganization, youth programs and environment improvement. Results:
never really studied!!!
Walter Miller in
- Similar project, no real impact
- Slight decrease in minor illegal
behavior, but rise in serious criminal activity.
- Definitions and circularity: If
J.D.==> Disorganization, then Disorganization==> J.D.
- Why certain patterns indicators
of disorganization? Single mothers, working women, large households, or unmarried
- Disorganization or differential
- Use of official statistics to
- Slum as a "natural"
are or product of socially imposed system of economic stratification and inequality?
at the micro level:Control
Theories (Prof. Tom O'Connor's notes, local copy)
Why most don't deviate?
- Inner pushes and outer pulls.
- If structural buffer of external
control mechanisms fail--individual is "thrown into deviance.
- Individuals are "naturally"
- Social reality of the Group: Control
is acquired through group association, and control is necessary for group
survival- therefore individual survival.
- The reality of the Social Bond
- Internal Control:
- Belief: socialization, internalization.
- Involvement: time factor
- Commitment: stake in society,
something to lose
- Attachment: role models, someone
you don't want to let down.
A General Theory
(see, Goode, 2007)
1990 - Gottfredson
& Hirschi's General Theory of Crime (part of a student prtesentation at another university)
- Force or fraud
in pursuit of self-interest
- Applies to any
and all crimes and includes 'sin', or a variety of self indulgent actions
i.e. smoking or being a couch potato
- Stresses the
factors present in the immediate or "proximate" situation of the criminal
action that determine or influence its enactment, crime, and
those background or "distant" factors that determine or influence the tendency
to commit crime, criminality.
- The origin of
crime is low self-control, which results from inadequate, ineffective,
and inconsistent socialization by parents early in childhood.
- Criminal acts
provided immediate and easy or simple gratification of
desires and are exciting, risky, or thrilling
- Since crime
entails "the pursuit of immediate pleasure, people lacking in self control
will also tend to pursue immediate pleasures that are not criminal."
- It is self control
that determines social control
Critique of Anomie
( strain) Theory:
Critique of Learning
- Crime is an
impulsive act which provides immediate, short-term, and rather skimpy rewards
- Criminals lack
the skills, diligence and persistence necessary for the deviant "adaptations"
- Does not explain
the incidence, or rate of criminal behavior as a whole, since most of it is
petty, compulsive and immediate
Gottfredson and Hirschi
reject all other explanations of criminal behavior except their own; only lack
of self-control is truly consistent with the facts of crime. But: although incomplete,
Classical and Social Disorganization Theory are consistent with the facts:
- One does not
learn to engage in crime, since no learning is required
acts are simple commonsensical, concrete, and result in immediate gratification
are simply doing what comes naturally
- What causes
such behavior is not the presence of something - learning- but the absence
of something - self control
Critique of Self-Control
- Not all persons
who exhibit low self-control commit crime; low self-control merely predisposes
someone to commit crime.
- Crime can take
place to the extent that a motivated offender has access to a "suitable target"
i.e. money , which lacks a "capable guardian."
- The inability
of a community to monitor the behavior of its residents complements parental
Gottfredson and Hirschi have not offered a "general theory" of crime and deviance,
but a plausible account of bits and pieces of the phenomenon they purport to explain.
- Strain theorist
- the aggressiveness and anger that many criminals exhibit when committing
their crimes is far more than lack of self-restraint; only strain theory explains
- Learning theorist
- lack of self-control is a basic component or element of the deviant
learning process, hence, learning theory subsumes, or swallows up, self-control
- Issue of where
self-control comes from, and what it means in particular social contexts?
Can we learn it (and un-learn it)? Is it specific to particular social groups--dominant
- What are the complex
factors that explain why someone with "self-control" deviates, and
why someone without "self-control" may not deviate?
- Ignores the issues
surrounding the definition of deviance--perhaps our understanding of self-control
stems from not defining the behavior of some as deviant, or from
attributing low self-control to those whose behaviors are defined as deviant
Katz: Thrill Seekers (see more on Katz from Prof. Cecil Greek: 1, 2, and 3) (local copies of Cecil greek's notes)
- Deviance can be stimulating
- Sense of power, control, excitement
- Some have higher threshold- require
- Deviance can provide a "thrilling
demonstration of personal competence."
Structural Strain Theories
Owner: Robert O. Keel email@example.com
Credits for this Page of Notes
Thursday, March 20, 2008 2:08 PM