Part 2 - CH 9: Control Theory

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CH 9: Control Theory

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Part 2 - CH 9: Control Theory
1 control theory states that social control is directly affected by the strength of social bonds and that deviance results from a feeling of disconnection from society
1.1 Individuals who believe they are a part of society are less likely to commit crimes against it.
1.1.1 conforming behavior is reinforced by individuals' attachment to norm-abiding members of society; by their commitment to, and investment in, a legitimate life and identity (e.g., earning educational credentials and a respectable reputation).... by their level of involvement in legitimate activities and organizations; and by their subscription to the commonly held beliefs and values characterizing normative society. People who violate norms have a flaw in one or more of these bonds to society and can be brought back into the normative ranks by strengthening and reinforcing those weak bonds. Hirschi's perspective is more social psychological than structural
2 Travis Hirschi
3 four types of social bonds that connect people to society:
3.1 1. Attachment measures our connections to others. When we are closely attached to people, we worry about their opinions of us. People conform to society’s norms in order to gain approval (and prevent disapproval) from family, friends, and romantic partners.
3.1.1 2. Commitment refers to the investments we make in the community. A well-respected local businesswoman who volunteers at her synagogue and is a member of the neighborhood block organization has more to lose from committing a crime than a woman who doesn’t have a career or ties to the community. 3. Similarly, levels of involvement, or participation in socially legitimate activities, lessen a person’s likelihood of deviance. Children who are members of little league baseball teams have fewer family crises. 4. The final bond, belief, is an agreement on common values in society. If a person views social values as beliefs, he or she will conform to them. An environmentalist is more likely to pick up trash in a park because a clean environment is a social value to him
4.1.1 Durkheim: " We are moral beings to the extent that we are social beings." We are moral being to the extent that we have internalized the norms of society If a person does not care about the wishes & expectations of other people, is insensitive to the opinions of others then he is not bound by norms & is free to deviate The essence of internalization of norms, conscience or superego thus lies in the attachment of the individual to others F. Ivan Nye's "internal control" and "indirect control" refer to the same element, although we avoid the problem of explaining changes over time by locating the "conscience" in th ebond to others rather than making it part of the personality. Attachment is the sociological counterpart of the superego or conscience
4.1.2 COMMITMENT INVOLVEMENT BELIEF the control theory assumes the existence of a common value system within the society or group whose norms are being violated. The question is, Why does a man violate the rules in which he believes? the person is assumed to have been socialized (perhaps imperfectly) into the group whose rules he is violating; deviance is not a question of one group imposing its rles on the members of another group We not only assume the deviant has believed the rules but we also assume he believes the rules even as he violates them given the control theory's assumptions about motivation, if both the deviant and the non deviant believe the deviant act is wrong, how do we account for the fact that one commits it and the other does not? Control theories take 2 approaches to this problem APPROACH #1 - beliefs are treated as mere words that mean little or nothing if the other forms of control are missing Semantic dementia - the disassociation between rational faculties and emotional control, characteristic of the psychopath beliefs drop out of the picture; since they do not differentiate between deviants and non deviants, they are in the same class as "language" or any other characteristic common to all members of the group APPROACH #2 - the deviant rationalizes his behavior so that he can at once violate the rule and maintain his belief in it. advanced by Cressey - rationalizations called "verbalizations" advanced by Sykes & Matza - rationalizations called "techniques of neutralization" either occur prior to the commission of the deviant act if the neutralization is successful, the person will commit the deviant act So, why neutralize? In sociology and criminology, strain theory states that social structures within society may pressure citizens to commit crime Involvement or engrossment in conventional activities is thus often part of a control theory the assumption is that a person may be simply too busy doing conventional things to find tine to engage in deviant behavior To the extent that he is engrossed in conventional activities, he cannot even think about deviant acts, let alone act out his inclinations David Matza & Gresham M. Sykes suggest that delinquents have the values of a leisure class In the end, the leisure of the adolescent produces a set of values, which in turn, leads to the delinquency Of all passions, that which inclineth men least to break the laws, is fear. Nay, excepting some generous naturesm it is the only thing, when there is the appearance of profit or pleasure by breaking the laws, that makes men keep them." Few would deny that men on occasion obey the rules simply from fear of the consequences. (also called conformity) A person invests time, energy, herself in a certain line of activity. If deviant behavior is considered, she must consider the risk of losing the investment she has made in conventional behavior commitment is the counterpart of the ego or common sense The concept of commitment assumes the organization of society is such that the interest of most persons would be endangered if they were to engage in criminal acts boys aspiring to careers in professional thievery are judged by their "honesty" & "reliability"...traits traditionally in demand among seekers of office boys
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