Students are socialized to strict dres’ codes, grammar, and attitudes in classrooms. Children in families are supposed to follow their parents’ rules on what they can do, say, and feel. We are required to obey a set of rules and procedures at work. These are only a few examples suggesting that there is a degree of social regulation at all levels of society. Different societies, subcultures, and groups enforce particular standards in the form of regulations, requirements, dres’ codes, and laws, among other items. As a result, there are processes in place by which groups at various levels of social control and guide actions in order to reflect an appropriate socialization process that conforms to their cultural norms. There are social regulations, to be precise. In light to this, deviance is when a person goes against a particular norm. We are witnessing a breakdown of social mechanisms that once kept crime in check and gave direction and support to policing activities. Thus, this paper seeks to find the relationship between deviant and social control as an explanation to the current crime rates.
How does lack of social control contribute to crime?
Rational for the choosing the question
The best approach towards finding solutions to criminal activities is by understanding the relationship between social control and crimes, given that most crimes result from societal problems such as poverty, poor upbringing, peer pressure social discrimination among other reasons.
Theories explaining deviance, specifically crime, go a long way into medieval times, before the enlightenment period. Philosophers in the 18th and 19th centuries tried to explain crime as an individual choice (Vito & Maahs, 2015, p. 28). After the invention of science, scientists set to look for empirical data to explain this phenomenon. Sociologists and psychologists began to study communities and cultures and developed individual and societal causes of crime in the post-enlightenment age. A notable philosopher, who is considered the father of sociology, Emile Durkheim caused a landmark breakthrough to the causes of crime after developing theories of notable social philosophers, Saint-Simon, Ferdinand To¨nnies, Auguste Comte and George Simmel, who were interested in the political revolutions and their disruptive consequences to the society.
In analyzing the effects of industrialization, Durkheim made an interesting inference between people and how the change of society affects their relationships and behavior (Brinkerhoff, Ortega, & Weitz, 2013, p.121). According to him, people tore the line only when there are collective objectives and some cohesion. In the wake of industrialization, there was a shift in the society structure from Gemeinschaft into Gesellschaft (Brinkerhoff, Ortega, &Weitz, 2013, pp. 117 -120). Laborers were recruited from rural areasweakened the social and family bonds. Concomitant changes in institutions, industries and the urban environment washed away societies that once framed and enforced their moral codes. With the heterogeneity, there were few instances of shared believes and values. The urban areas became anomic, thus were unable to regulate behavior, let alone relations among people.
Durkheim views were later developed by the sociologist Robert K. Matron, who poised that different social strains led to crime (Vito & Maahs, 2015, p. 25). Once the society shifted to industrialization, its main goals became material ones. The society then created means for achieving these goals. Due to structural inequalities, there was incoherence between these social goals and the socially accepted ways of achieving them. The strains that people encountered when trying to make ends meet motivated them to deviate from this social way, thus, committing crimes.
Theoretical and Modern Perspectives
Norms exist at every level of the society. Subculture and countercultures are those that tend to oppose the acceptable social norms, hence, they are labeled as deviant (Inderbitzin, Bates, & Gainey, 2016, p. 78). Particularly, deviant behavior tends to go against the acceptable social norms. In light of the concept of social contract, people within a society give certain rights to some few individuals for the return benefit of protection of their own rights. They create institutions and enact set of rules that limit and control behavior. These laws are attached with sanctions for contravention. Crimes are acts of deviance that breach the laws meant to govern behavior.
Social control is believed to have three levels: private, parochial and public (Inderbitzin, Bates, &Gainey, 2016, p. 65). Private social control is an informal mechanism where behavior is governed by the individual inference of perception by those who they relate. It is based on the relationship an individual has with a particular person, say father and son. Parochial social control level incorporates the role of local social institutions like churches, school and family to govern behavior. It is perceived that these parochial relationships are drawbacks for children who find it difficult to associate with the primary social institutions. Public level of social control is a mechanism carried out by institutions within the society and individuals with the legal mandate to do so. For example, the criminal justice system has the police, courts and prisons as social control institutions. In the modern perspective, public social control mechanisms are measures which enable an individual to access public goods and services.
Historical documents have pointed out the relationship between deviance and social control. In medieval times, philosophers such as Aristotle emphasized the importance of family relations for the growth of a child. Social disorganization that stemmed out of political revolutions made this impossible. Social scientists documented evidence, showing how difficult it was for immigrants to raise their children in new environments, where there was alteration in parental socialization roles. Observable consequences of these were that peer influence heightened among the youth and notable acts of indiscretion led to more pronounced criminal acts. Gang membership began in the neighborhoods as well.
Industrialization brought about a paradigm shift from traditional held goals of the society to a materialized world where objectives were defined by those who were able to gain control of productive means. Such tendency has followed through generations and is now a problem that the modern world lives with (Xiong, 2015, p. 91). The social disorganization has created structural injustices to an extent that opportunity is not equal. The goals of the society have died with such catastrophic greed. Families migrated from rural areas to invest their money in urban areas. The racial heterogeneity in the towns weakened the social bonds because of two important things; people could not agree on same value frame work and opportunities were not equal to allow homogeneity of social goals and means.
A notable interrelation can be drawn from the levels of social control. In a society that has strong private and parochial social control children grow up knowing what is expected of them. Thus, minimum deviant and crime levels are recorded (Xiong, 2015, p.79). Public social control develops further to incorporate programs that are more important in altering the dynamics of social and structural injustices to include the marginalized. Progressive initiatives aimed at responding to the social effects of industrialization being passed across generations are equally significant.
There is a notable relationship between deviance and social control. From the above arguments, it suffices to say that societies lacking integration have higher levels of crime. Where system cannot meet the demands of the people in equal terms, typology of kinds of subcultures develop to counter social injustices recorded as crimes. As such, social control measures need to be responsive, bearing in mind that responsive initiatives entangle the society compactly in a common goal. In this regard, crime, which is a deviant behavior, is a logical consequence of the weakening social bonds.
Brinkerhoff, D. B., Ortega, S. T., &Weitz, R. (2013). Essentials of sociology. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Inderbitzin, M. L., Bates, K. A., &Gainey, R. R. (2016). Deviance and Social Control: A Sociological Perspective. New York: SAGE Publications, Incorporated.
Vito, G. F., &Maahs, J. R. (2015). Criminology. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Xiong, H. (2015). Urban Crime and Social Disorganization in China: A Case Study of Three Communities in Guangzhou. New York: Springer.