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41 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
drift theory
David Matza suggested that people live their lives on a continuum somewhere between total freedom and total restraint. The process by which a person moves from one extreme of behavior to another extreme is called drift, and this is the very foundation of his theory.
common beliefs about techniques of neutralization
Matza rejected the notion that subcultures of delinquency maintain an independent set of values than the dominant culture.
delinquents actually do appreciate culturally held goals and expectations of the middle-class
but feel that engaging in such behavior would be frowned upon by their peers.
Such beliefs remain almost unconscious, or subterranean, because delinquents fear expressing such beliefs to peers
sykes and matza techniques of neutralziation
techniques of neutralization
delinquents develop a special set of justifications for their behavior when such behavior violates social norms.
These allow delinquents to neutralize and temporarily suspend their commitment to societal values
providing them with the freedom to commit delinquent acts
based on four observations
1. Delinquents express guilt over their illegal acts.
2. Delinquents frequently respect and admire honest, law-abiding individuals.
3. A line is drawn between those whom they can victimize and those they cannot.
4. Delinquents are not immune to the demands of conformity
denial of responsibility
Delinquent will propose that he/she is a victim of circumstance and that he/she is pushed or pulled into situations beyond his/her control. ("It wasn't my fault!")
This technique goes beyond looking at the criminal act as an accident.
The individual feels that they are drawn into the situation, ultimately becoming helpless.
They feel that their abusive families, bad neighborhoods and delinquent peers predispose them to criminal acts.
denial of injury
Delinquent supposes that his/her acts really do not cause any harm, or that the victim can afford the loss or damage. ("Why is everyone making a big deal about it; they have money!")
NOBODY IS CLEARLY HURT the delinquent views stealing as merely borrowing
views gang fighting as a private argument between consenting and willing participants.
reaffirmed in the minds of these juveniles when society does not look at certain acts, such as skipping school or performing practical jokes, as criminal, but merely accepts them as harmless acts.
“I assumed that a criminal action meant hurting someone, we did not hurt anyone
denial of victim
Delinquent views the act as not being wrong, that the victim deserves the injury, or that there is no real victim. ("They had it coming to them!")
AGREES THAT DEVIANT ACTION WAS TAKEN AND SOMEBODY WAS HURT, BUT, THE INJURY WAS NOT WRONG crime is viewed as a punishment or revenge towards a deserving person
may be used by those who attack homosexuals or minority groups
“They deserve it.” This is also glorified in the stories about the character Robin Hood and his actions involving stealing from the rich
condemnation of condemners
Condemners are seen as hypocrites, or are reacting out of personal spite, thus they shift the blame to others, being able to repress the feeling that their acts are wrong. ("They probably did worse things in their day!)
SHIFT FOCUS TO THOSE DOING THE CONDEMNING; HYPOCRITES Also called rejection of the rejectors by McCorkle and Korn (1954)
places a negative image on those who are opposed to the criminal behavior. The juvenile ends up displacing his/her deviant behavior on those they are victimizing and also viewing the condemners as hypocrites, such as corrupt police and judges.
appeal to higher loyalties
The rules of society often take a back seat to the demands and loyalty to important others. ("My friends depended on me, what was I going to do?!")
the person feels they must break the laws of the overall community to benefit their small group or family
comes into play when a juvenile gets into trouble because of trying to help or protecting a friend or family member.
subterrainean values
Sykes and Matza observed several values present, which they define as subterranean values.
First, delinquents search for a thrill or an adrenaline rush. This “rush” they seek is not easily accomplished through law-abiding means. The excitement may even be a result of the fact that the behavior is not accepted
Secondly, they do not view normal occupations as worth the work when they can make more money doing illegal acts.
Some researchers also noted that the behavior may not have solely monetary purposes, but also to gain rank and prestige among other criminals
Third, the deviant becomes aggressive because of their alienation from society
This is seen in gang rivalries when violence is used to protect “turfs” and reputations.
The purpose of this aggression is to show how tough they are and that they have achieved manhood
name the five techniques of neutralization
1. denial of responsibility
2. denial of victim
3. denial of injury
4. condemnation of condemners
5. appeal to higher loyalties.
Matza and Sykes concluded that their study on the effect of subterranean values and leisure time did not explain several aspects of juvenile delinquency.
First, they cannot explain why certain juveniles convert subterranean values into serious criminal behavior and others do not.
Matza and Sykes concluded that their study on the effect of subterranean values and leisure time did not explain several aspects of juvenile delinquency.
First, they cannot explain why certain juveniles convert subterranean values into serious criminal behavior and others do not
Secondly, they admit that their needs to further, in-depth studies done on the effects of the juveniles value systems as a result of leisure time.
Matza believed that individuals go from one extreme to another in their behavior, known as drift.
Matza believes that juveniles drift between conventional and criminal behavior.
Drift is explained as a gradual process, which results in molding the individual’s behavior.
Once the crime is committed the delinquent feels guilt and must balance their behavior by returning to act in a law-abiding manner.
Drift can be described as soft determinism, which views criminality as partly chosen and partly determined.
The will to commit a crime occurs when one of these conditions is present; preparation and desperation.
preparation and desparation
These allow the individual to form the decision to commit a crime.
Preparation occurs when a criminal act is repeated once the person realizes that the criminal act can be achieved and is feasible.
Desperation activates the will to initially commit a crime because of an extraordinary occasion; or fatalism, which is the feeling of lacking control over ones surroundings
actual critisims
The theory does fail on the account that it doesn't clearly distinguish why some youths drift into delinquency and others do not.
The theory remains too abstract and vauge to be of any practical use unless we understand why drift occurs, critics have argued.
In a more recent study by Mitchell, Dodder and Norris (1990:487) they focused on the “relationships between church attendance, delinquent peer association, the tendency to neutralize and self reported delinquent behavior”.
The study suggested that delinquents seek acceptance from society which results in them using neutralization techniques to rationalize their acts. They also concluded that the effect of neutralization has the strongest effect towards delinquency.
When looking at females, neutralization was less effective of a justification as opposed to males.
Neutralization was also found to be more viable towards Anglo-males than for either females or Mexican Americans.
techniques (adults too?)
Sykes and Matza further argued that these neutralizations are available not just to delinquents but they can be found throughout society.
William Brennan used Sykes’ and Matza’s techniques of neutralization to help explain how women, and even doctors and nurses, justify an abortion.
Brennan (1974:358) wanted to “extend the techniques of neutralization beyond the boundaries of delinquent behavior to encompass involvement in abortion both before and after legalization by the Supreme Court”.
thesis of a subculture of violence proposition 1
No subculture can be totally different from or totally in conflict with the society of which it is a part.
author- techniques of neutralization
sykes and matza
thesis of a subculture of violence propostion 2
To establish the existence of a subculture of violence does not require that the actors sharing in these basic value elements should express violence in all situations.
thesis of a subculture of violence propostion 3
The potential resort or willingness to resort to violence in a variety of situations emphasizes the penetrating and diffusive character of this culture theme.
thesis of a subculture of violenece proposition 4
The subcultural ethos of violence may be shared by all ages in a subsociety, but this ethos is most prominent in a limited age group, ranging from late adoleescence to middle age.
thesis of a subculture of violence proposition 5
The counter-norm is nonviolence.
thesis of a subculture of violence propostion 6
The development of favorable attitudes toward, and the use of, violence in a subculture usually involve learned behavior and a process of differential learning, association, or identification.
thesis of a subculture of violence propostion 7
The use of violence in a subculture is not necessarily viewed as illicit conduct and the users therefore do not have to deal with feelings of guilt about their aggression.
thesis of a subculture of violence author
Wolfgang and Ferracuti
author of a social learning theory of crime
social learning theory of crime
The theory proposes that criminal and delinquent behavior is acquired, repeated, and changed by the same process as conforming behavior.
“we learn to engage in crime through exposure to and the adoption of definitions favorable to crime…and these definitions contain more neutralization techniques”
behavioral learning theory of social learning theory
Differential reinforcement – operant behavior (voluntary actions of the individual) is conditioned or shaped by rewards or punishments
Classical or respondent conditioning (the conditioning of involuntary reflex behavior)
Discriminative stimuli – the environmental and internal stimuli that provides cues or signals for behavior
Schedules of reinforcement (the rate and ratio in which rewards and punishments follow behavioral responsesDiscriminative stimuli – the environmental and internal stimuli that provides cues or signals for behavior
Schedules of reinforcement (the rate and ratio in which rewards and punishments follow behavioral responses
social interaction of social learning
Theory that social interaction is mainly the exchange of meaning and symbols
Individuals have the capacity to imagine themselves in the role of others and incorporate this into their conceptions of themselves
Imitation, anticipated reinforcement, self-reinforcement
Social learning theory is about variables that operate both to motivate and to control criminal behavior = to promote or undermine conformity
The probability of criminal or conforming behavior is a function of the balance of these influences on behavior
Differential association of social learning
The process of being exposed to normative definitions favorable or unfavorable to illegal or law abiding behavior.
both behavioral interactional – direct association and interaction with others and indirect association and identification with more distant reference groups.
and normative dimensions – the different patterns of norms and values to which one is exposed through this association
The groups one belongs to or associates with provide the major social contexts in which social learning operates
Definitions for behaviors
Models to imitate
Reinforcement for behaviors
priority, Intensity, duration, and frequency
definitions (social learning)
Ones’ own attitudes or meaning attached to behaviors - Orientations, rationalizations, definitions of the situation; evaluative and moral attitudes that define the commission of an act as right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable, justified or unjustified
General (religious, moral, conventional values favorable to conformity and unfavorable to crime) and
Specific definitions (orient one to particular acts so that one believes it is wrong to break the law except for some laws, ex: wrong to steal but ok to smoke marijuana)
propositions (social learning)
The greater the extent to which one holds attitudes that disapprove of certain acts, the less one is likely to engage in them.
The more one’s own attitudes approve of a behavior, the greater the chances are that one will do it.
approving definitions toward positive behavior (social learning)
Positive or neutralizing = make the behavior morally desirable or permissable..
Neutralizing definitions favor the act by justifying or excusing it
Act may be undesirable but given the situation it is ok, justified, excused, necessary, or not really bad
Result in discriminative cues or signals to the individual as to what is appropriate or expected – even required- in a given situation
differential reinforcment of social learning theory
The balance of anticipated or actual rewards and punishments that either follow or are consequences of behavior.
Proposition: The probability that an act will be committed or repeated is increases by rewarding outcomes or reactions (positive reinforcement).
more propositions of the social learning theory
Proposition: The likelihood that an action will be taken is also enhanced when it allows one to avoid or escape unpleasant events (negative reinforcement)
The greater the value or amount of reinforcement for the behavior, the more frequently it is reinforced, the greater the likelihood that it will occur and be repeated
reinforcers and punishers (social learning theory)
Can be nonsocial – direct physical effects of drugs and alcohol. Although the perceptions of the effects are contingent on previously learned expectations
Includes range of actual and anticipated, tangible and intangible rewards valued in society or in subgroups
Can be fulfilling ideological, religious, political, etc. Even money and property gain reinforcing value from the prestige and approval they have in society
Engagement in behavior after observing others especially salient models in primary groups and the media. Whether or not the behavior will be imitated is affected by the characteristics of the models, the behavior observed, and the observed consequences.
Explains onset of novel behavior, but not persistence or cessation
social learning theory: process and feedback effects
Engagement in behavior after observing others especially salient models in primary groups and the media. Whether or not the behavior will be imitated is affected by the characteristics of the models, the behavior observed, and the observed consequences.
Explains onset of novel behavior, but not persistence or cessation
Some criminal or deviant acts can occur in the absence of any thought given to right or wrong.
Definitions may be applied retroactively to the act by the actor to excuse or justify the act.
If these are successful in deflecting negative sanctions or discomfort the acts may be repeated.
social learning and social structure model
Proposition: The differential social organization of society and community, as well as the differential location of persons in the social class, race, gender, religion, and other structures in society, provides the general learning contexts for individuals that increase or decrease the likelihood of their committing crime.
Correlations of adolescent drug use and smoking, elderly alcohol abuse, and rape to socio-demographic variables of age, sex, race, and class are reduced to zero when the social learning variables are taken into account.
Differences in levels of marijuana and alcohol use among adolescents in 4 types of communities (farm, rural-non farm, suburban, and urban), and the differences in overall levels of drinking behavior among the elderly in 4 types of communities, are mediated by the social learning process