Social control theory An explanation of criminal behavior that focuses on controlmechanisms, techniques, and strategies for regulating human behavior, leadingto conformity or obedience to society’s rules, and which posits that devianceresults when social controls are weakened or break down, so that individualsare not motivated to conform to them (CriminologyP. G-6).Social control theory focuses on techniques andstrategies that regulate human behavior and lead to conformity, or obedience tosociety’s rules—the influences of family and school, religious beliefs, moralvalues, friends, and even beliefs about government. The more involved andcommitted a person is to conventional activities and values and the greater theattachment to parents, loved ones, and friends, the less likely that person isto violate society’s rules and to jeopardize relationships and aspirations (Criminology P. 164).
Conflicttheorists argue that, contrary to consensus theory, laws do not exist for thecollective good; rather, they represent the interests of specific groups thathave the power to get them enacted (Criminology P. 37).The key concept in conflict theory is power. The people who have politicalcontrol in any given society are those who are able to make things happen.
Theyhave power. Conflict theory holds that the people who possess the power work tokeep the powerless at a disadvantage. The laws thus have their origin in theinterests of (Criminology P.
193). SociologistGeorge Vold (1896–1967) was the first theorist to relate conflict theory tocriminology. He argued that individuals band together in groups because theyare social animals with needs that are best served through collective action.If the group serves its members, it survives; if not, new groups form to takeits place. Individuals constantly clash as they try to advance the interests oftheir particular group over those of all the others. (CriminologyP. 193).
Conflicttheory is a theorythat holds that the people who possess the power, work to keep the powerless ata disadvantage (Criminology P. G-1).Conflict Theoryand Social Control Theory both have similarities and differences. It isimportant to discuss those issues because both theories have been used to talkabout the occurrence of crime in contemporary American society. Examples of theissues faced also matter. In order to ensure that each one of the concernsfaced by society are handled properly where criminality is concerned. Criminalityis a large part of any society, the ways how criminals are handled and the waysin which they develop their criminal behavior. They are very important toconsider in an effort to reduce the number of criminals in society.
Somebelieve that there are bad people and they are born that way. Research indicatesthat most criminals are taught the behaviors in which they engage. Either their families engage in criminalbehavior, or they spend time with peers who are involved in criminality. Theneighborhoods in which some of these individuals are born and raised also donot help them to avoid criminal issues because they see it so often that itsimply becomes a part of life. One of the things they can do is choose a differentpath even that many people who attempt to avoid criminal behavior can still getinvolved in criminality if they allow themselves to do so. Conflict Theorystates that there are inequalities in a social group that are material, social,or political. This distracts from the function of the group and the people init, and also draws attention to the differentials in power that are seen suchas conflict with class and other social constructs.
There are a few differenttheoretical ideas, actually, that all fall under the umbrella of conflicttheory. Those who feel as though they are being pushed out by society, andthose who do not seem to get into the standard, often found that they movetoward criminal behavior. The idea behind conflict theory is that capitalism andother socioeconomic systems produce tensions that are internal and that willlead the system to destroy itself eventually. Inequality defines mostsocieties, and in doing so those societies produce a lot of conflict. Peoplewho are disadvantaged in society have a couple of options. People can worktoward benefitting themselves, or they can give up and turn to criminality in orderto attempt to get the things that they are being denied by society. The choicethey make will affect not only them but their families and friends, as well asthe rest of society around them. The cost of incarcerating people andrehabilitating them also has an effect on society, because it takes money awayfrom other programs where that money could potentially be more useful.
Socialcontrol theory addresses the idea that socialization and learning build controlin a person’s mind, in turn, reduces the chances that the person will getinvolved in behavior that is not seen as being social. In other words, people whowant to get in with society will avoid criminal behavior. Naturally, this isnot true for everyone or there would not be any criminals. However, it doesappear to hold true for many people, because large numbers of people in societywant to blend in and be accepted. They do what they can and what they have todo so that they will be seen as normal, and those who are deviant are oftenmarginalized, whether they are criminal or simply different from others. Insome cases, the person simply feels as though the criminal behavior is wrong orinappropriate, and that it is best avoided.