Social Control

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  • Created by: Paige
  • Created on: 12-06-13 09:54
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  • Social Control (Informal)
    • Individuals Social Control
      • Hirschi (1969) found that deviant or criminal activity occurs when people's attatchment to society is weakened in some way.
        • There are four crucial bonds which bind us together in society.
          • Attatchment - to what extent do we careabout other people's opinions and wishes?
          • Commitment - this refers to the personal investments we make in our lives. What have we got to lose if we commit a crime?
          • Involvement - How busy are we? Is there time for lawbreaking behaviour?
          • Belief - how strong is an individual's sense that they should obey the rules of society?
    • The Family and Social Control
      • Farrington and West (1990) links the failure of social control to the family.
        • Longitudinal research.
          • Studied 411 'working class' males born in 1953 until their late 30's.
            • Their study found that less than 6% of the total sample accounted for over 50% of all convictions.
              • Found that there were consistent correlations netween family traits and offending. (offenders were more likely to come from homes with poor parenting where parents may have had previous convictions.)
                • Therefore supports Hirschi's view that the faulure to provide adequate socialisation and informal control in the family can lead to crime.
      • Dennis and Erdos (1993) argue that the correlation between crime and certain family characteristics is a reflection of a much wider change in society.
    • The Community and Social Control
      • Charles Murray (1990) argued that over the previous 30 years there had been an increase in what he called 'the underclass'
        • Refers to clearly distinguishible young groups of people.
          • Have no desire for formal paid employment.
          • Have a range of short term sexual liaisons.
          • Routinely have children born outside serious relationships.
        • The children of these people are brought up with little or no concern for the values of society in general.
          • The result of this is that there is a generation of young people who do not share the valuse of wider society and are more likely to commit crime.
    • Critisisms
      • Marxists reject the view that the consensual definition of deviance is a normative one, mass media media and the education system set out to impose values on the working class which benefits capitalism but harms the working class.
      • Critical criminologists such as: Scraton (1997) argue that deviance is an indication of class conflict.
      • Left realists such as: Matthews and Young (1992) see the decline of community controls and the increase n crime and antisocial behaviour as directly harmful to the working class.
      • Box (1983) has suggested another way of looking at social control and crime. He agrees with right-wing writers, that is is a release from social control which propels people into commiting crime.


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