• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore how both sociology and social psychology can help us to understand anti-social behaviour

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explore how both sociology and social psychology can help us to understand anti-social behaviour Anti-social behaviour can be defined differently by everybody, in order to understand what anti-social behaviour is you should understand the definition provided by the government; this definition is from the crime and disorder act ?Acting in a manner that caused or was likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as (the defendant)? (Crime and disorder act , 1998). The defining point of sociology is to look at social problems in relation to society and how society causes them and solves them whilst the defining point of social psychology is to look at how an individual reacts in a social situation or context and how they are influenced. Therefore by the same token, sociology would explain anti-social behaviour as being a social problem created by societal issues such as age, race, gender, class and so on, and social psychology would explain anti-social behaviour as being an individual reacting to the situation they are in within society, which again would fall under age, race, gender and class. So these are both very similar with only slightly differing focuses aiming to understand what anti-social behaviour is and why people commit it. This essay will mainly focus on understanding violent types of anti-social behaviour. The crime and criminal justice survey of 2003 found that ?29% of young people said they had committed at least one act of anti-social behaviour in ...read more.

Middle

Another sociologist explains anti-social behaviour as a product of labelling; delinquent subcultures and anti-social behaviour is described as being a result of society labelling sub-cultures as deviant which in turn means they react to the labels with frustration (Cohen, 2002). The most prone to being labelled is white working class young men, they are considered to be turned into folk devils by the public and the media which creates a moral panic about the particular sub-culture. Often once labelled as something by the media and the public members of the sub-culture conform to their label and commit crimes, an example of this are mods and rockers who were for all intents and purposes generally peaceful until the media said otherwise and amplified the crime; riots created by the two sub-cultures ensued. In addition to this the same sociologist discusses crime as a produce of status frustration, going on to say that working class youths? realise that they are unable to achieve societal set goals so they resort to crime in order to gain status and resources. Therefore sociology would explain anti-social behaviour as a result of labelling and status frustration. On the other hand social psychology offers more insight into why individuals may commit anti-social behaviour, psychologists believe that behaviour is a direct result of genetics or learned behaviour, otherwise known as the nature vs nurture debate. On the biological side of the argument anti-social behaviour specifically in males is noted as being down to factors such as high testosterone levels and research suggests there is possibly an aggressive gene that people can inherit from parents (Craig & Halton, 2009). ...read more.

Conclusion

The two boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were known trouble makers which indicates anti-social behaviour. The media reported that the two boys had supposedly played violent video games and watched the film child?s play 3 in which there are scenes that correspond with the torture and murder of James Bulger which included throwing blue paint on the victim (Kirby, 1993). Although there was no real evidence that linked the events that had occurred with violent video games or films a moral panic about ?video nasties? was a direct result of the case, in addition to this it was clear that both children had a difficult upbringing and social care was poor at the time which could easily have resulted in an environment that created two boys with extreme anti-social behavioural problems. This shows evidence of learned behaviour in a cultural context which allows psychologists to understand anti-social behaviour. In conclusion, Sociology and Social psychology provide explanations that are only moderately different, sociology helps to explain and understand anti-social behaviour by looking at how society reacts to individuals and how groups relate to anti-social behaviour for example working class young men are a particular focus of sociologists in relation to understanding anti-social behaviour, while psychology focuses on how individuals react and what causes individual people to commit anti-social behaviour which is predominately a focus on nature vs nurture, how environments can shape young people to do certain things which can be positive or negative depending on their upbringing and the social situation as well as having a biological factor which may be over looked by sociologists. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Criminology essays

  1. Domestic violence. The following essay will concentrate on patriarchal-terrorism (Gilchrist et al. 2004) meaning ...

    His ego-weakness leads to the seeking of a close intimate relationship in order to reassure and comfort him, but any partner-reaction, which can be attributed as provocative may lead to an outburst of aggression. Consequently, he shows his remorse through a display of affection, begs for forgiveness - and the cycle repeats itself.

  2. Criminal and Forensic Psychology

    of the unchastised model which suggests that the observer internalises the values and behaviours of the model when no sanctions are applied (Putwain and Sammons 2002). The Bobo Doll experiment has however, been critiqued on the basis that it lacks ecological validity due to the controlled environment in which it was conducted.

  1. Research Proposal. Public perception of child sex offenders: has the media influenced our perceptions ...

    and Greer (2001 and 2003). Using scholars it is hoped that the research question in this dissertation proposal may be answered using different arguments towards the subject and show how this thesis will differ from others. Methodology Research constructed in this field of work will consist mainly of quantitative methods but qualitative will also be used.

  2. anomie and strain theory

    and seems to lack specify. He does not seem to present a single theory but two: anomie theory and strain theory. (hhtp://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lrbr/subpages/reviews/deflem0207.htm) He fail to include women in his theory as feminist such as (Leonard 1982; Naffine 1987) noted. Leonard argues vigorously "that the dominant goal in American society is

  1. Locking Children up

    and basic life skills can only be detrimental to the young person (Joyce,2006). This has led to a lot of dispute over the imprisonment of children, and the effect of prison becoming a 'university of crime' where minor offenders and youths learn the 'tricks of the trade' from seasoned inmates.

  2. Abnormal Psychology

    recognized the importance of environment. Hippocrates were also "often referred to as the father of modern medicine" (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2007, p. 2). "Hippocrates denied that deities and demons intervened in the development of illnesses and insisted that mental disorders, like other diseases, had natural causes and appropriate treatments" (Butcher, Mineka & Hooley, 2007, p.

  1. Moral panics

    (2002, p, 122) Knife crime has become an issue in contemporary Britain which is repeatedly reported through the media leading to many changes in the law surrounding the sale and use of knives. The Offensive Weapons Act 1996 is an Act to make provision about persons having knives, other articles which have a

  2. This essay will discuss the different types of drugs that can cause social problems ...

    For example, in England and Wales there were 2,445 deaths related to drug poisoning in 2003. However, this was the lowest number since 1994 and continued the downward trend from a peak of 2,967 deaths in 2000 (National Statistics: 2005).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work