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Deviant Behavior: Using Control Theory to Explain why Delinquent Teenagers Shoplift - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Use the concept of control theory to explain why teenagers shoplift Deviance is behavior that does not follow the accepted cultural or social norms. It goes beyond nonconformity and includes behavior that departs considerably from the expectations of the society…
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Deviant Behavior: Using Control Theory to Explain why Delinquent Teenagers Shoplift
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Download file to see previous pages This implies that what is deviating to one group may not be deviant to another. The accepted norms in this regard include all established rules and norms, which occur socially, but not merely morally defined or individually imposed. Deviance, therefore, does not lie just in behavior itself but extends to the social responses of individuals and groups to behavior by others. An example of a deviant behavior is shoplifting. Shoplifting is an act of delinquency that results from taking illegal possession of items from a commercial establishment. Shoplifting involves taking an item, where permission is granted to physical possess the item before purchase, and concealing the item in order to avoid paying for it. Shoplifting is a common crime and usually done by amateurs, although there are individuals who are skilled and make a living out of this deviant act (Larry and Brandon 127). Most individuals who commit these crimes are teenagers who do it for a variety of reasons. Delinquency and in extension teenage shoplifting can be explained by the control theory. Control theory elucidates the reason why people do not give in to deviant impulses and denotes a responsibility or an active role towards the behavior of the individual. Control theory, takes the perspective that individuals refrain from deviant acts due to various factors. Such are the factors that control their impulses to break social norms and engage in acts such as shoplifting. Control theory connects teenage shoplifting with the lack of effective control measures to counter the deviance. Literature review Cromwell and Thurman in their study interviewed 137 apprehended shoplifters and revealed the extensive use of neutralization techniques (535-550). The study further identified two methods, which include postponement and justification by comparison. They further argue that while previous formulations of the neutralization theory opposed the idea that deviants neutralize moral prescriptions prior to committing shoplifting, research is unable to determine whether the neutralization is prior neutralization or rationalization thereafter and that neutralization ordinarily follows deviance rather than preceding it. Among the key findings of Cupchik, is that the theft behavior often results from a loss-substitution act described in various facets. These include other factors, which underlie motivations that necessitate delinquent activities in typically honest individuals (78). Thus, most offenders such as teenage shoplifters risk being diagnosed wrongly as suffering from kleptomania. These misdiagnoses practically lead to a misunderstanding of the motivations of teenage shoplifters by their parents, themselves, and law enforcers. The gives a detailed understanding of the issues underlying the actions of these individuals and provides appropriate tools that assist in clinically assessing these individuals. The book also provides an overview of specified psychotherapeutic methods of treating individuals with these problems. It also provides useful information for assisting teenage shoplifters to stop the illegal and inappropriate behavior. Additionally the author provides suggestions designed for professionals who deal with these issues. The original finding by the author in that atypical shoplifting behavior is usually a loss-substitution activity described in various aspects, similar to the other categories of essential motivations that precipitate shoplifting activities in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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