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Social Structure Theory SOC 112 Part 12. Soc 1.Sociology - crime from 2 perspectives - structure / process a. Structure - characteristics of community.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Structure Theory SOC 112 Part 12. Soc 1.Sociology - crime from 2 perspectives - structure / process a. Structure - characteristics of community."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Structure Theory SOC 112 Part 12

2 Soc 1.Sociology - crime from 2 perspectives - structure / process a. Structure - characteristics of community - characteristics of community - poverty / educational level / divorce / belief - poverty / educational level / divorce / belief in laws / single-parents / local culture in laws / single-parents / local culture (1) Can look at: (1) Can look at: - region / city / neighborhood

3 Soc b. Process - characteristics of individual - characteristics of individual - how criminals are produced - how criminals are produced - patterns / variables / relationships - patterns / variables / relationships (1) Something in common (1) Something in common - smoking / drinking / drugs / illicit sexual behavior / aggressive behavior (2) Constitute problem behavior (2) Constitute problem behavior - parental supervision / peer groups

4 Soc - attitudes on the street - attitudes on the street c. Auguste Comte c. Auguste Comte - developed sociology - developed sociology - mid-1800s - mid-1800s d. Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) d. Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917) - French sociologist - French sociologist - crime / suicide - crime / suicide - sociological theories: crime causation - sociological theories: crime causation - homogeneity / anomie - homogeneity / anomie

5 Soc (1) Homogeneous (1) Homogeneous - same race / kind - same in structure / quality - similar / identical (a) Primitive societies - less crime - less crime - isolated - isolated - self-reliant / self-sufficient - self-reliant / self-sufficient - sameness / uniformity - sameness / uniformity - social solidarity - social solidarity

6 Soc (2) Solidarity (2) Solidarity - “Combination or agreement of all - “Combination or agreement of all elements or individuals, as a group; elements or individuals, as a group; complete unity, as of opinion, purpose, interest, feeling” complete unity, as of opinion, purpose, interest, feeling” - called this = mechanical society e. Today, advanced societies e. Today, advanced societies - depend on each other - depend on each other - food / clothing / entertainment - food / clothing / entertainment - highly organized division of labor - highly organized division of labor

7 Soc - no longer identical circumstances - no longer identical circumstances - called “organic society” - called “organic society” (1) People are different (1) People are different - no longer homogeneous (2) Different societies in competition (2) Different societies in competition - education / power / wealth - happiness / well being (3) Will achieve / whatever way works best (3) Will achieve / whatever way works best

8 Soc 2.Social cohesiveness - one of society’s most important elements - belongingness a. Place in social structure - determines behavior - determines behavior (1) Socialization (1) Socialization - family / school / peer group - determines behavior

9 Soc b. Do we have belonging today? b. Do we have belonging today? - elite of society - elite of society - family - family - friends - friends - police brotherhood - police brotherhood - the gang - the gang (1) Feel a part of our society? (1) Feel a part of our society? - know neighbors - helping in your community

10 Soc c. Anomie c. Anomie - state of normlessness in society - state of normlessness in society - lawlessness - lawlessness - Greek: “without norms” - Greek: “without norms” (1) “A standard, model, or pattern for a group; esp., a) such a standard of (1) “A standard, model, or pattern for a group; esp., a) such a standard of achievement as represented by the median or average achievement of a large group b) a standard of conduct that should or must be followed c) a

11 Soc way of behaving typical of a certain way of behaving typical of a certaingroup” (2) Decreased homogeneity (2) Decreased homogeneity - causes this state of normlessness - provides setting conducive to crime - other anti-social acts (a) Because of change - scientific / technological / societal - scientific / technological / societal - norms: lost their meaning - norms: lost their meaning

12 Soc (b) Durkheim and crime (b) Durkheim and crime - functional / positive consequence - functional / positive consequence - crime is normal - crime is normal - part of our society - part of our society - must have wrong to have right - must have wrong to have right (2) No longer belong = “society” (2) No longer belong = “society” - laws / rules no longer apply - laws / rules no longer apply - easier to commit anti-social acts - easier to commit anti-social acts (a) Poor areas (a) Poor areas

13 Soc - inner-city slums - inner-city slums - without society’s norms - without society’s norms - developed “local” norms - developed “local” norms (b) Lawlessness v. law (b) Lawlessness v. law - higher rates of crime - higher rates of crime - society laws do not apply - police: outsiders / don’t live here - invaders / oppressors (3) Kip Kinkel: “I had no other choice” (3) Kip Kinkel: “I had no other choice”

14 Soc - applied homogeneity / anomie - applied homogeneity / anomie (a) School / family - outcast / loner - no homogeneity - not accepted / no friends - parents: demanding (b) Rules do not apply - made own rules / no norms - against those who oppress

15 Soc 3.Robert K. Merton - US sociologist (1910 – 1996) - social structures exert pressure (strain) - behave in nonconforming ways a. Societies / cultures - characterized by 2 elements - characterized by 2 elements - goals / means - goals / means (1) Goals (1) Goals - aspirations

16 Soc - worth striving for - worth striving for - immediate / future - reach a goal / new goal takes place (2) Means (2) Means - how obtained b. Society defines both - socially approved = norms - socially approved = norms - lawful ways = legal goals - lawful ways = legal goals

17 Soc c. Crime occurs when: c. Crime occurs when: (1) People focus on goals (money?) (1) People focus on goals (money?) - to exclusion of means - to exclusion of means - drugs / gambling / prostitution - drugs / gambling / prostitution (2) Approved means of obtaining (2) Approved means of obtaining - not equally available to all - not equally available to all (3) Unapproved / unacceptable means (3) Unapproved / unacceptable means - commit crimes - commit crimes

18 Soc d. 5 methods for achieving goals d. 5 methods for achieving goals - “modes of adaptation” - “modes of adaptation” (1) Conformity (1) Conformity - accepting society’s goals / means - accepting society’s goals / means - most frequently used - most frequently used - work / save / school / legitimate path - work / save / school / legitimate path (a) Legitimate professions (a) Legitimate professions - some will excel - others: economic middle path

19 Soc (b) Conformists: accept society goals (b) Conformists: accept society goals - may not achieve them - means society approves of (2) Innovation (2) Innovation - accept goals = reject means - accept goals = reject means - design own means - design own means (a) Accept college / cheat (a) Accept college / cheat (b) Have money / steal (b) Have money / steal

20 Soc (c) No parental attentions (c) No parental attentions - no encouragement / future - scrawl name: cars / walls - achieve some recognition (d) Not restricted to lower class (d) Not restricted to lower class - stock manipulation - defective products - tax evasion (3) Ritualism (3) Ritualism

21 Soc - abandoned by goals believe in reach - abandoned by goals believe in reach - resign yourself to present lifestyle - resign yourself to present lifestyle (a) Play by rules (a) Play by rules - work on assembly line - hold supervisor job - follow some other safe routine (b) One of a thousand workers (b) One of a thousand workers - catch bus / same corner / time - past 20 years

22 Soc - long forgotten why - long forgotten why - accept job as a paycheck - accept job as a paycheck - great relief: 2 week paid vacation - great relief: 2 week paid vacation (4) Retreatism (4) Retreatism - give up both goals / means - give up both goals / means - goals: know you can’t make it - goals: know you can’t make it - means: why try - means: why try (a) Retreat: drug / alcohol addiction (a) Retreat: drug / alcohol addiction - internalized values of society

23 soc - internal pressure not to innovate - internal pressure not to innovate (b) Allows an escape (b) Allows an escape - nonproductive / non-striving life - nonproductive / non-striving life - anti-war movement (1960s) - anti-war movement (1960s) - Viet Nam veteran (crime / drugs / isolationists) - Viet Nam veteran (crime / drugs / isolationists) (5) Rebellion (5) Rebellion - goals / means rejected - goals / means rejected - substitute own goals - substitute own goals

24 Soc - with own means - with own means - “militias” - “militias” 5.Albert Cohen - “middle-class measuring rod” - another strain theory - delinquent subcultures emerge in slums a. Primarily = middle / working class - premium on ambition - premium on ambition - getting ahead - getting ahead

25 (1) Lower / middle classes - teach children values - want to succeed - make something of self (a) Problem - lower class = different values - neighborhood values - different = middle class beliefs (2) Measure lower-class children - middle-class values

26 - educators / managers / professionals - counselors / police officers (a) Teachers measure by middle class - children = brought up differently - language used - traditions / beliefs / attitudes (b) Manager / counselor / professional - apply for job / help - speak / think / rationalize / look

27 (c) Police officer - making contact - stance / look / demeanor - language used (3) Do not measure up - values we accept - family / school / church / neighborhood (a) Not to our standards - look at = failures - treat differently

28 (b) Values: center around middle-class - primary groups = middle / upper (c) Middle-class values - hard to understand - may not be accepted b. Most lower-class - do not know middle-class lifestyle - cannot socialize children - cannot prepare = enter middle-class - not accepted

29 (1) Children grow up with: - poor communication skills - lack commitment to education - inability to delay gratification (2) Schools = particular problem - evaluated by middle-class teachers - based on middle-class values (a) Self-reliance / honesty / courtesy / good manners / respect for property / responsibility / long-range planning good manners / respect for property / responsibility / long-range planning

30 (b) Lower-class children - fall short of standards - cannot compete (3) Experience status frustration / strain - adopt one of three roles - corner / college / delinquent boy (a) Corner boy - most lower-class youth - hang out in neighborhood - time with peer group

31 - loyal to friends - gambling / athletic competition - menial job / conventional lifestyle (b) College boy - very few - strive to live up to middle-class standards standards - success limited - academic / social handicaps (c) Delinquent boy

32 - form a subculture - define status = attainable - wrong = norms of larger culture - right = their subculture 4.Opportunity theory - Richard Cloward / Lloyd Ohlin - lower class = limited opportunities - legitimate / illegitimate means - no more equitably distributed a. Cannot simply decided on own

33 - join theft oriented / violence oriented gang - depends on type of neighborhood - three basic types of subculture - adapt to one in neighborhood (1) Criminal subculture / gang - opportunities = illegal ways - older criminals = role models - teach youth about crime (2) Conflict subculture / gang

34 - neighborhood = transient / instability - few opportunities = organized crime - goal = gain reputation - through violence / toughness - fight / show courage / defend - maintain honor (3) Retreatist subculture / gang - “double failures” - not successful: legitimate / illegitimate - characterized = getting high - hide in own world

35 - beg / borrow / steal = support habit - peddle drugs / pimp - belonging = superiority / well-being (a) Not all lower-class youth join - “corner boys” 5.Control theories - people = amoral by nature - inclined to commit crime - bond to society = weak / nonexistent

36 a. Bonds to society strong - less likelihood to commit crimes - belief systems rather than laws - guide what people do / control behavior (1) Society requires social order - demands people conform - family / school / church / friends / law and rules / peer groups and rules / peer groups (2) Control theorists - want to know why people conform?

37 (b) Why aren’t all criminal b. Control theorists believe: (1) Humans require nurturing - guidance / care / direction (2) Beliefs depend on - where nurturing came from - strong family / strong peer group (3) “Internal controls”

38 - conscience / guilt - view as wrong or not (3) External controls - impact through shame - formal (law) - informal (extralegal) c. Control theorists believe: - deviance occurs when - deviance occurs when - social controls = weakened / breakdown - social controls = weakened / breakdown - no longer motivated to conform - no longer motivated to conform

39 (1) Controls are strong - deviance does not occur - not how you prevent criminal behavior - how you train in law-abiding behavior (2) Common beliefs - human animal requires nurturing - accounts for variations - in attachment / commitment


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