American InterContinental University Online
This essay will focus on sociological theories of crime and their description, the strengths and weaknesses of each; sociological control theory, strain theory, differential association theory and neutralization theory. This essay will also focus on Rajartnam who was convicted for inside trading in 2011.
A different approach to criminological theory was taken in the 1960’s although; it was a derivative of older theories. The labeling theory wanted to know questions about crime and the criminal’s from a new aspect disputing earlier definitions of deviance (Williams & McShane, Criminological Theory, 2010). According to (Griswold, Roberts, & Wiatrowski, 1981; Taylor, 2001) the social control theory recognizes that people are irresponsible and careless and that institutional socialization and social learning can imbue self control over instinct (Criminology: Social Control Theory [long] – Zoklet.net). +
Social Control Theory
There are four major factors in the social control theory which are’ attachment, commitment, involvement and belief (Griswold, Roberts, & Wiatkowski, 1981). Attachments are formed through bonds with people, such as families and friends. Another major factor is Commitment. In the criminological context is hope of a person to life goals. In these times this would mean a good education and a good job to support oneself. The third major element is Involvement. Involvement means a person’s participation in community functions leading to socially valued success and status objectives. The fourth and final major factor is Belief. Belief is acknowledgement of the moral foundation of the social value system. (Criminology: Social Control Theory [long] – Zoklet.net). The strength of attachment means if a person lives in a community and takes part in the community activities, harming the community would affect the community as well as the person, by not breaking any laws. This is the attachment of family, friends, and groups. The weakness is if a person is not involved inside the community it can lead to deviance. The strengths of commitment are making goals and a person who has goals has a path in life. They are motivated in a positive manner and therefore would resist deviance. The weakness is not having goals which can cause deviance. Involvement; by taking part in delinquent behavior it threatens a person ability to stay committed to their goals and achieve them both through the possibility of punishment because of delinquency and because the life goals are threaten when one has too much time to spend on things that does not involve their goals. (Griswold, Roberts, & Wiatkowski, 1981)(Criminology: Social Control Theory [long] – Zoklet.net). Belief in the moral value system acts as a defense to crime. It can provide a direction so one can believe in the morality of a society. The social control theory is important as the less rules people feel the more chances of them breaking the rules (Hirschi, 1969, p.26) (Criminology: Social Control Theory [long] – Zoklet.net). Strain Theory
Strain theory breaks down deviance as the aftermath of social strains directly to the way society is structured. Some people become distressed to the point that they may become deviant as a way to cope with stress. Sometimes people cause deviance because they don’t understand how the social norms will affect them (Sociological Theories to Explain Deviance). In society there are socially approved goals that each person should attempt to reach. This is due to a shared value system in the society (Sociological Theories to Explain Deviance). The strengths of Strain theory is that the concept of sociologists can exhibit and clarify how and why diverse individuals with different positions in the social structure are effectively moved into different types of conforming...
References: Criminology: Social Control Theory [long] – Zoklet.net, Retrieved on 1/21/2012 from http://www.zoklet.net/bbs/showthread.php?t=36303
Differential Association Theory, Retrieved on 1/21/2012 from http://www.d.umn.edu/~jhamlin1/sutherland.html
Learning Theory, Retrieved on 1/20/2011 from https://www.criminology,fsu.edu/crimtheory/learning.ht
Mehta, Suketu, (Oct. 23, 2011) The Outsider; Newsweek Magazine, Retrieved on 1/21/2012 from http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/10/23/exclusive-raj-rajaratnam-reveals-why-he-didn-t-take-a-plea.html
Sociological Theories to Explain Deviance, Retrieved on 1/20/12 from http://www.valdosta.edu/~klowney/devtheories.htm
Sykes & Matza: Techniques of Neutralization & Drift, Retrieved on 1/22/12 from http://www.comcast.net/~ddmelo/crime/sykes_matza.html
The Crime and Deviance Channel, Retrieved on 1/20/12 from http://www.sociology.org.uk/cc_text/cc_updates_strainspl.pdf
Williams, P., Frank III & McShane, D., Marilyn, (2010) Criminological Theory (5th Ed.) Published Prentice Hall, copyright © 2010, by Pearson Education, Inc.
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