CRIM 1150

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CRIM 1150
2013-04-08 16:41:29
Lecture 10

Subcultural Theory; Differential Association Theory; Labeling Theory
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  1. Subcultural Theory
    • Lower class youths are deviant due to non-conformist values which produce non-conformist behaviour
    • Key concepts:
    • 1. Subcultures-districts cultural values from those of main culture. Lower socioeconomic class a culture with distinct values
    • 2. These values translate to behaviours which may come into conflict with main culture - deviance. Deviant behaviour results from different values which underlie actions
  2. Subcultural Theory; Thorsten Sellin
    • Culture Conflict and Crime (1938)
    • Examined the high rates of crime among immigrants in U.S.
    • Discussed conflict of culture; values of immigrants from those of main culture
    • Due to different and possibly conflicting values; possible conflict with the law
  3. Subcultural Theory; Walter Miller
    • Looked at lower-class male gang delinquency - why rates of gang behaviour in lower classes?
    • Lower-class have formed distinct, long established, and durable traditions and values which translate to behaviours
    • Called these values "focal concerns"
  4. Subcultural Theory; Miller - Focal Concerns
    • 1. Trouble - life a series of troublesome episodes
    • 2. Toughness - continued demonstration of bravery, daring, physical powers, display of toughness
    • 3. Smartness - Ability to outwit others; hustle; to dupe; to con
    • 4. Excitement - "thrill seeking" - to break up boredom and monotony of life; fighting, getting drunk etc.
    • 5. Fate - Belief in destiny, one is luck/unlucky in life, not within one's control
    • 6. Autonomy - Desire to be free from external constraints - seek independence, avoid  control/domination by others
    • These values internalized through socialization process; conflict with law
  5. Subcultural Theory;  Miller
    • Female- Dominated households: characteristic of lower-class subculture and linked to deviance of lower class youth
    • Values of lower-class life result in absence of father, and serial monogamy; no healthy male role model
    • Gangs offer peer support, sense of belonging and male identity
  6. Subculture Theory; Albert Cohen - low-class
    • Lower class subculture contains values which see delinquency as a way of life
    • These values are:
    • Short-term pleasure
    • Maliciousness
    • Non-Utilitarianism
    • Versatility
    • Negativism
    • Group autonomy
  7. Subculture Theory; Albert Cohen - middle-class values
    • Drive and ambition
    • Individual responsibility
    • Achievement and success
    • Willing to postpone immediate satisfaction of wants and desires
    • Rationality; long term planning
    • Exercise of courtesy and self control
    • Control of aggression
    • Constructive use of leisure
    • Respect for other's property
  8. Subcultural theory;  Cohen: Measuring rod
    Performance in school measured by middle-class standards - inability to measure up by lower-class - reaction formation occurs: adoption of opposing values, behaviour-gangs provide support - hostility, self-concept nurtured
  9. Subcultural theory; Merits
    • Concept of value conflict
    • Recognition of social and economic inequalities in society
  10. Subcultural theory; Criticisms
    • Concept of subculture difficult to define
    • Policy implication: nothing works
  11. Differential Association Theory - Sutherland
    Influence of George Herbert Mead
  12. Differential Association Theory - Outline
    • Deviant behaviour is learned through interactions and social context
    • What one learns depends on one's associations
    • Deviant behaviour results when there is an excess of attitudes in favor of law violation
    • Direct associations most influential
    • Probability of learning deviance depends on duration, frequency, and priority of associations
  13. Sutherland's Differential Association Theory - 9 Propositions
    • 1) Criminal behaviour is learned
    • 2)Criminal behaviour is learned through interactions
    • 3) Most learning takes place within intimate personal groups
    • 4)Learning includes techniques of committing crimes and specific direction of motives, rationalizations, and attitudes (justifications)
    • 5) Directions of motives and drives learned from definitions favorable or unfavorable to law violation
    • 6) Person becomes deviant due to excess definitions (rationalizations/attitudes) in favor of law-violation
    • 7) Associations vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity
    • 8)Learning deviance involves same mechanisms as any other learning
    • 9) Deviant behaviour an expression of needs and values
  14. Differential Association Theory - Merits
    • 1)       Some empirical support for theory
    • 2)      Study of white-collar crime
  15. Differential Association Theory - Criticisms
    • 1)       Difficult to evaluate key concepts
    • 2)      Actual contact required for learning?
    • 3)      Personality variables not accounted for
    • 4)      What associations are intense enough?
  16. Labeling Theory
    Criminal behaviour results from societal reactions to non-conformity
  17. Labeling Theory - General Concerns
    • Origins (where from) of criminal labels
    • Applications of criminal labels
    • Consequences of criminal labels
  18. Labeling Theory - General propositions
    • Criminal behaviour is socially generated and applied on inherent (relativity of..) crime
    • Criminal behaviour is promoted as a result of social reactions to non-conformity
    • Reactive definition of criminal behaviour
    • It is the consequences of official labeling that results in pattern of criminal behaviour
    • Self-image changes as a result of labeling - criminal behaviour manifested
  19. Labeling Theory - Summary
    Societal definitions of crime - individuals act of subsequent labeling of an individual as criminal - stigmatizations and alienations of individual in society - adoption of criminal self image; persistent criminal behaviour created
  20. Frank Tannenbaum
    Tagging process 0 groundwork for labeling theory
  21. Labeling Theory - Edwin Lemert; Central questions
    • Why does an act become defined as a crime?
    • What results from labeling someone a criminal?
  22. Labeling Theory - crime is...
    non inherent - it is socially defined; socially constructed; no act inherently a crime
  23. Labeling Theory - Primary criminal behaviour
    initial act of non-conformity
  24. Labeling Theory - Secondary criminal behaviour
    General concern

    Criminal behaviour that follows labeling
  25. Labeling Theory - 7 propositions
    • Deviance- specific to time and place
    • Deviance as function of culture conflict
    • Societal reaction to deviance ranges from strong approval to indifference to strong disapproval
    • Criminal behaviour is deviation which has received effective disapproval
    • Deviant is one whose self-definition has been shaped by societal reaction
    • Criminality is individualized - vulnerability to societal reaction varies
  26. Labeling Theory - Becker (Outsiders, 1961)
    • Moral Entrepreneurs - define deviance and crime
    • Master status of Criminal - "deviant" becomes primary label attached to an individual
    • To respond to criminality : Decriminalize/Divert
  27. Labeling Theory - Merits
    • Provided insight to understanding of deviance
    • Provision for diversion programs
    • Examination of social/political processes leading to creation of crime
  28. Labeling Theory - Criticisms
    • Loosely formed argument
    • Ambiguous
    • Overly deterministic - influence of other factors on of official labeling
    • Changed self-Identity - questionable on basis of research
    • Official labeling-Influence of other factors
    • Failure to explain primary deviance