Research Paper: Criminology Theories

Pages: 5 (1437 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Children  ·  Buy This Paper


Social control plays a key role in influencing the involvement of crime among people. These articles seek to show the relationship between low self-control and crime. Low self-control is the process by which a person cannot control his behaviors leading him to commit anti-social behaviors. Low self-control makes it hard for people to resist from committing crime. The articles show that the higher rate of low self-control, the higher rate of crime in society. These articles develop the social control theory that states that people commit crime if there are no measures for control in society. The most prominent facto that influences the level of low self-control is parental socialization. The articles show that structural characteristics of a community directly affect parental socialization and hence affecting the level of low self-control in a human being.

Synthesis and comparison

The authors of this article employ data gathered from the (NLSY) National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to determine how structural characteristics of the community affect 'self-control.' Through the data, the authors note that parental socialization and poor neighborhood conditions affect self-control. This affects self-control both at a cross-sectional and longitudinal level. They also discovered that both poor neighborhood conditions and parental socialization have the same effect on 'self-control.' Race is also a determinant factor in self-control as it influences inter-relationships between people of different races (Cernkovich 2000). People of dominant races have different levels of self-control as compared to people who belong to minority races.

In the second article, Rafter (1990) traces the accumulation of constructionist tradition in criminal justice. They do this by examining four areas of study. These four study areas include social histories of the criminal justice system theory and practices, critical criminology, research on female victimization and the feminist theory. Constructionism analyses processes in the production of social information, dissemination, verification and disconfirmation of social information. Constructionism develops criminal justice and lays a basis for the discovery of sociology of knowledge.

According to Pratt (2004), parental socialization practices have a direct effect on children's social and emotional competence. This shows that parental socialization is bidirectional. Negative reaction to children's emotional expressions makes children develop low social control. Parental negative emotionality makes children develop low social competence, and in turn leads them to develop low self-control. Parental negative emotionality affects parental behavior, moral reasoning, aggression, pro-social behavior, beliefs and gender-role development (Pratt 2004). Parents need to develop the way they socialize with their children. This sets the foundation for the children to develop self-control that will make the children not to engage in criminal behaviors.

Parental reaction to children's emotion is excellent ways for parents to socialize with their children and make them have self-control. This will make the children grow up to be responsible members of the society. Parental socialization takes the form in three key topics. These are parental reaction to children's behavior, emotion and expression of emotion. These three studies provide a structure that will help in determining a child's self-control. When parents choose to involve themselves in their children's life, this will strengthen the parent-child relationship (Cernkovich 2000). A child who gets attention and love from his parents will have a greater level of social control than a child who does not get the attention.

The definition of acts and events are not an objective quality of these phenomena. Through social interaction, human beings develop behaviors and actions (Rafter 1990). These actions can be either ethical or anti-social in nature. A social constructionist suggests that a given behavior or act example domestic violence or crime, becomes a social problem if social groups choose to see it that way. Social groups will mobilize social response measures to prohibit these behaviors since they are wrong. Some of these social responses include medical treatment, psychiatric evaluation and imprisonment (Rafter 1990). Social constructionism draws on nominal philosophical tradition that social reality does not have any independent existence outside a human mind. Human beings, therefore, interpret the world as they like and make judgments according to how they perceive things. Human beings make representations in their mind that they believe reflect reality. The issue here is whether the representations are real in the outside world and not in their mind.

Most constructionists are relativists and not moderate. They believe that fundamental reality exists, and social constructions play… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Criminology Theories.  (2013, March 31).  Retrieved August 23, 2019, from

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"Criminology Theories."  March 31, 2013.  Accessed August 23, 2019.