Self-control Theory of Crime Evaluation
Marilyn A. Vazquez
CJA/540 Criminological Theories
University of Phoenix
October 24, 2011
Crime consists of behavior patterns, the environment, and the economy of the world. Researchers tend to use theories to answers questions concerning these behaviors. For example such questions involve why people commit crimes, what type of people commit crimes, and a host of other questions. The topic of this paper consists of two types of theories. The topics discussed and compared involve the conflict theory and the social control theory. In addition, the comparison will display the theory that does a better job of addressing the occurrence of crime in contemporary American society. Included is an evaluation of the effects of positive and negative reinforcement on crime in both theoretical frames and information to support the research.
The conflict theory
Two or more persons who disagree relate to conflict. For example, one individual of a team wish to lead the team because of prior leadership. The other candidate also wishes to lead the team because of favoritism. This is one prime example of conflict. Another involvement of conflict consists of a clash between an individual work schedule and the hours the employer expects from the employee. Last, conflict deals with struggle. For example, two criminals committing a crime one is more violent than the other. Both have strong intentions to commit the crime, however, only one want to commit murder. The other criminal struggles to proceed as scheduled because murdering goes against the plan. Conflict is a word that causes most people a degree of discomfort, anger, frustration, sadness, and pain (Team Building Inc, 2010).Karl Marx conflict theory involves struggle as well. The struggle consists of two major groups. These groups involve the higher level of persons such as the rich or elite or people who own businesses. In contrast the other group involves the lower class people such as the less fortunate or mediocre who are the workers. Apparently the two groups constantly inhabit the conflict theory. Out of the two groups one possess more power and wealth than the other. The upper class has access to certain items whereas the lower class does not. The working class individuals who have no power sell his or her hard work to the upper class to produce products. The powerful have an advantage to keep the working class enslaved. The lower have to rely on the upper for income (Factoidz, 2011).
The criminal justice system and criminal law are thought to be operating on behalf of rich and powerful with resulting policies aimed at controlling the poor. Focus is on separating the powerful from the less powerful. In the process the legal rights of poor folks who may be ignored (Greek, 2005). For example the less powerful receive severe punishment for a small crime whereas the powerful receive leniency for high white collar crime. The social control theory
Social control entails rules of behavior that must be followed by the members of a society. Some of the rules of conduct fall into the realm of good manners as the culture defines them (O’Neil, 2006). People make up a society and expect its members to maintain conformity to remain controlled. Enforcing control involves laws, police, force, or pressure by the members. The people expect to stay in peace and harmony together. Implemented rules placed within the group for members to obey. Social control directs the entire group in a structured manner. In addition, social control operates for the entire group. Implementing control involves negative or positive reinforcement. Social control means, control of individual behavior by society, and that control of social institutions should be in the interest and welfare of the whole society. Some warnings and directions of prohibited activities are an...