Presentation on theme: "Testing Social Learning Theory Delinquent Peer Associations (Stimulant Survey) What proportion of your closest friends… Cheated on exams or papers Sold."— Presentation transcript:
Testing Social Learning Theory Delinquent Peer Associations (Stimulant Survey) What proportion of your closest friends… Cheated on exams or papers Sold marijuana Sold drug other than marijuana Pirated things off the Internet Bought something they thought might be stolen Stole something worth less than $50 Stole something worth more than $50 Purposely damaged property without the owner’s permission
Survey Says… Delinquent Peer correlates moderately with… Illicit stimulant use ever (.25) and in the past year (.15) Marijuana use in past year (.35) Academic fraud (.38) Deviance/Crime (.49) Binge drinking (.29)
Testing Social Learning Theory Moral Beliefs (Definitions) How wrong is it to… Cheat on exams or papers Sell marijuana Sell drug other than marijuana Pirate things off the Internet Buy something they thought might be stolen Steal something worth less than $50 Steal something worth more than $50 Purposely damage property without the owner’s permission
Survey Says… Moral beliefs correlates moderately with… Illicit stimulant use ever (.27) and in the past year (.22) Marijuana use in past year (.39) Academic fraud (.21) Deviance/Crime (.44) Binge drinking (.29)
Subcultural Theories ▪ Several Theories emerged from late 1950s through the 1960s ▪ Attempt to explain the formation and activity of delinquent subcultures ▪ Subculture defined as a group (such as a street gang) that holds different norms and values than mainstream society Combined ideas from both strain theory (Merton) and differential association (Sutherland) –> “mixed models”
Specific Subcultural Theories 1. Status frustration (Cohen) 2. Differential opportunity theory (Cloward and Ohlin) 3. Focal concerns of the lower class (Miller) In the interests of time and student sanity, we’ll just discuss Cloward and Ohlin as one example. This will be the only one to appear on the exam.
Differential Opportunity Theory ▪ Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin ▪ From Merton: Lack of legitimate opportunities for success causes strain ▪ Blocked economic aspirations lead to poor self-image ▪ Frustration leads to delinquency From Sutherland: much delinquency requires access to “illegitimate means” for success Delinquents learn criminal trades within neighborhood
Differential Opportunity Theory (2 of 2) ▪ Delinquent subcultures ▪ Criminal subculture ▪ Where illegitimate opportunities exist, delinquents seek economic gain, view crime as a career ▪ Conflict subculture ▪ Where no illegitimate opportunities exist, gangs fight over turf and place high value on violence ▪ Retreatist subculture ▪ “Double losers”: Emphasizes drug abuse or other forms of escape
Subcultural Theory Criticism ▪ Narrow scope ▪ Focus on lower-class boys ▪ Does not account for white-collar crime, middle-class crime, or female offending ▪ Are gangs are truly subcultures? ▪ Assumes almost perfect socialization to gang
Control Theories Control = shorthand for informal social control Theories covered Hirschi (social bonds) Gottfredson and Hirschi (low self-control) Sampson and Laub (age graded social control)
Assumptions about “Motivation towards crime” Strain theory: motivation from some sort of strain (e.g. blocked opportunity) Learning theory: motivation from delinquent peers or other learning experience Critique: if all crime is “learned,” where does it originate? Control theory: there is enough natural motivation towards crime No need to “build in” extra motivation Real question? Why aren’t we all criminal?
Types of Control Direct Control Direct punishments, rewards from parents, friends Indirect Control Refrain from deviance because you don’t want to risk friends, job, etc. Internal Control Good self-concept, self-control, conscience
Walter Reckless’ Containment Theory as precursor to “control” theories Pushes and Pulls poverty, anger,delinquent subculture Outer Containment parents/school supervision DELINQUENCY OUT HERE !!!!!! Inner (Good self concept) Containment
ENTER TRAVIS HIRSCHI Causes of Delinquency (1969) Was an attack on other theories as much as a statement of his theory ORGANIZED theory into strain/anomie, learning, and control Criticism/attack on the other traditions and support for control Self-report data (CA high schools) Measures from “competing theories” This book was the first of its kind!
Social Bond Theory “ Bond” indicates “Indirect Control” Direct controls (punishment, reinforcement) less important because delinquency occurs when out of parents’ reach (adolescence). Attachment Commitment (Elements of the social bond Involvement are all related to each other) Belief
Or, Put Another Way… The Social Bond Attachment Commitment Involvement Belief Crime Fun, thrilling, quick and easy satisfaction of desires
Hirschi’s Evidence in Favor of Bonds Attachment Attachment to parents (wish to emulate, identify with) Commitment Grades, educational aspirations Belief Techniques of Neutralizations
Criticisms of Hirschi’s Theory 1. Delinquents do form relationships (not “cold and brittle”). 2. Attachment to delinquent peers or parents increases, rather than decreases delinquency 3. Which comes first, bonds or delinquency? 4. Bonds more salient for females, and early in adolescence. Not strongly related to crime.
Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) A General Theory of Crime Same control theory assumptions If we are all inclined to be deviant, why conform? Because most of us develop “self-control” “Internal control” Developed by age 8, as the result of “direct control” from parents
Nature of Crime, Nature of Low Self-Control Criminal Acts… Provide immediate gratification of desires Are risky/thrilling Are easy/simple Require little skill/planning Provide few/meager long term benefits Result in pain/discomfort to a victim People with low self-control are therefore… Impulsive Risk-taking Physical (as opposed to mental) Low verbal ability Short-sighted Insensitive
The implications of low self-control Explains “stability of criminal behavior” But, how does it explain “aging out?” Explains all crime and analogous behaviors Analogous = same “nature” as criminal acts
Empirical Support Moderate relationship between low self-control and both crime and analogous behaviors Holds for both males and females BUT Not the “sole cause” of crime May not explain white collar crime at all
Stimulant Survey and LSC How much do you agree wit h the following…. I am good at resisting temptation g I have a hard time breaking bad habits I am lazy I say inappropriate things I do certain things that are bad for me if they are fun I refuse things that are bad for me g I wish I had more self-discipline People would say that I have iron self-discipline g Pleasure and fun sometimes keep me from getting work done I have trouble concentrating I am able to work effectively toward long-term goals g Sometimes I can’t stop myself from doing something, even if I know it is wrong
Survey Says… Low Self-Control predicted (fairly well)… Illicit stimulant use ever (.25) and in the past year (.19) Marijuana use in past year (.33) Academic fraud (.22) Deviance/Crime (.41) Binge drinking (.33)
“Age Graded Theory of Informal Social Control” Sampson and Laub We will cover this again in the “lifecourse” theory section Takes Hirschi’s (1969) theory and made it “age graded” The specific elements of the social bond change over the life-course Also includes elements of “direct control” Also throws in some other stuff (integrated theory)
Sampson and Laub Context Parenting Supervision Discipline Social Bonds Family School Delinquent Peers ChildhoodAdolescenceAdulthood Individual Differences Delinquency Social Bonds Marriage Good Job Length of Incarceration Adult Crime
Policy Implications Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory Target attachment, commitment, belief Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory Must focus on early childhood prevention Train parents? Sampson and Laub Different targets for different ages Importance of adult bonds (job, marriage)