Term Paper: Determinism and Sociology

Pages: 2 (538 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sociology

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[. . .] The basic proposition put forth by Reckless is that a series of "pushes" and "pulls" are responsible for determining whether or not a person will commit delinquent acts. According to Reckless, environmental factors such as family conflicts, living conditions at home, or frustrations stemming from minority status can all act as "pushes" that motivate deviations from societal norms if not effectively counteracted by containment. Temptation to succumb to peer pressure is among most alluring "pulls" within the context of containment theory because of the overwhelming human desire to acclimate and gain social acceptance.

The philosophy underpinning containment theory is known as sociological determinism and is based on the concept that human behavior is a direct product of environmental influence. Advocates of sociological determinism believe that a person's experiences during their formative years irrevocably shape their adult selves. Issues like child abuse, neglected education and exposure to television at a young age have all been linked by sociological determinists to behavioral deviations later in life. In order to effectively address the ramifications of this argument, modern society has placed a high level of attention on providing its youth with nurturing attention during their adolescence. It is hoped that behavioral problems like an increased tendency to commit criminal acts can be prevented or even eliminated altogether by improving parenting, education and guidance during a child's developmental stages.


Giddens, A. (1987). Social theory and modern sociology . (pp. 215-263). Palo Alto, CA: Stanford Universoty Press.

Ritzer, G. (1996). Sociological theory. (4th ed.). New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Retrieved from http://www.gbv.de/dms/ilmenau/toc/189193476.PDF [END OF PREVIEW]

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