Chapter Four: Social Structural and Social Process Theories of Delinquency Flashcards Preview

Sociology 231: Juvenile Delinquency > Chapter Four: Social Structural and Social Process Theories of Delinquency > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chapter Four: Social Structural and Social Process Theories of Delinquency Deck (10)
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Social Structural Theories

Theories based on the idea that features of the social environment may influence young people and cause them to commit delinquency
-Social Disorganization
-Cultural Deviance
-Miller's Lower-Class & Delinquent Values
-Strain Theory


Social Disorganization

(Cultural Transmission Theory)
Shaw & McKay
Delinquency occurs in inverse proportion to distance from the city center due to breakdown of traditional primary groups
Lower class groups stay in the inner-city due to differential opportunity structures
Unequal opportunity splits community between those who embrace conventional values and those who embrace deviant values


Cultural Deviance Theory

Delinquency viewed as an expression of conformity to cultural values and norms that are in opposition to those of the larger U.S. society


Miller's Lower-Class Culture & Delinquent Values

the values and focal concerns (toughness, smartness, excitement, trouble, fate, and autonomy) of lower-class youths differ from those of middle-class youths


Strain Theory

Youth experience strain/stress (from anomie, disjunction of expectations and achievement, removal of positive stimuli, presentation of negative stimuli), get upset, and sometimes engage in delinquency as a result


Social Process Theories

Theories based on the idea that youth learn delinquency
Engage in delinquent behavior the same way they learn to engage in conforming behavior
Juvenile delinquency depends primarily on the nature of the people they associate with
-Differential Association
-Differential Reinforcement
-Drift Theory
-Control Theory


Differential Association

Criminal behavior is a learned process of communication
Whether juveniles consider certain acts positive or negative depends on whether or not they consider the law favorable or unfavorable
Delinquency is an expression of general needs and values, but cannot be explained by general needs and values


Differential Reinforcement

Different behaviors have different probabilities of being reinforced
Delinquency more likely to happen when it...
-is frequently reinforced and infrequently punished
-results in higher amounts of reinforcement, and lower amounts of punishment
-more likely to be reinforced than alternative behaviors


Drift Theory

Matza and Sykes
Juveniles neutralize the moral hold of society and drift into delinquent behavior


Control Theory

Rules, monitoring, sanctioning of delinquency, reinforcing conventional behavior, stakes in conformity, beliefs, and self control are social controls. The lack of social controls encourages delinquency.