Control Theories Informal Social Control. Assumptions about human nature Humans are hedonistic, self-serving beings We are “inclined” towards deviance.
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Presentation on theme: "Control Theories Informal Social Control. Assumptions about human nature Humans are hedonistic, self-serving beings We are “inclined” towards deviance."— Presentation transcript:
Assumptions about human nature Humans are hedonistic, self-serving beings We are “inclined” towards deviance from birth –“natural motivation” –no “positive” motivation required –“variation in motivations toward deviance” Is this different from Differential Association/Social Learning? –Sutherland: All crime is learned, not invented
If we are inclined toward deviance... Key Question: Why aren’t most of us deviant? –Hirschi: “There is much evidence that we would be if we dared.” Answer: Informal Social Control
Are control theories “different?” Akers –They don’t try to explain “non-crime” or conformity –Different sides of the same coin Control Theorists –Completely different assumptions about human nature and “motivation” towards crime
Ivan Nye (1958) Identified 3 types of informal control 1. Direct Controls 2. Indirect Controls 3. Internal Controls
Walter Reckless: Containment Theory Pushes and Pulls poverty, anger,delinquent subculture Outer Containment parents/school supervision DELINQUENCY OUT HERE !!!!!! Inner (Good self concept) Containment
Causes of Delinquency (1969) –Was an attack on other theories as much as a statement of his theory –Self-report data (CA high schools) –Measures from “competing theories” This book was the first of its kind!
Hirschi’s Criticisms of Past Theory 1. A “pure” control theory needs no or external “motivation” to explain crime. –Exclude “pushes and pulls” from control theory –Other theories present an “over-socialized” human 2. Internal control is too “subjective” and nearly impossible to measure. –Exclude “conscience, self-concept, or self-control” –Subsumed under “Attachment”
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
Attachment The “emotional bond” Sensitivity towards others (especially parents) –Measured as Identification with and emulation of parents Concern with teacher’s opinion of oneself
Commitment The “rational bond” –One’s “stake in conformity” –Social Capital –Measures: academic achievement grades test scores educational aspirations
Involvement “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” Involvement in conventional activity –Simply less time for deviance –Measures: time playing basketball, baby-sitting, doing homework….
Belief Belief in the validity of the law –Hold values consistent with the law –Measures Neutralizations (from Sykes/Matza) Belief in the value of education Respect for police and the law
How can “neutralizations” support both social learning theory and control theory? Neutralizations as a “Pirate” variable 1. Sutherland/Akers: “definitions” that motivate delinquency 2. Hirschi: indicator of weak moral beliefs 3. Bandura: disengagement of cognitive self- evaluation (can be negative reinforcement)
Research on Bonds Hirschi’s own research supportive –But, couldn’t explain delinquent peers So, “birds of a feather” explanation Subsequent research –Attachment, commitment, beliefs are related Relationships are moderate to weak Causal ordering?
Delinquent Peers and Parents Hirschi: Any bonding insulates a person from delinquency –Even if the person you bond to is delinquent Akers: Bonding to delinquent persons increases delinquency Who’s right? AKERS