• 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. The murder of Sarah Payne was a major/high profile murder case in Kingston gorse, ...

    Lastly there were also two balls of her hair that were retrieved from the burial site. Once the first clump of hair was tested there was quite a few fibers found from the body as well as the body bag.

  2. Using Hirschis (1969) social bond theory to analyse the drug detoxification camp run by ...

    while receiving comfort and faith from the meeting. Such religious 'building' or 'shaping' is critical in forming constraints between the inmate (individual) and his family, also his church life (society). This is also a remarkable difference from other institutions. To effectively support the families, we indeed indirectly support the inmates.

  1. Criminal Psychology: Rehabilitating Offenders are there better methods to achieve this?

    focusing on enhancing a prisoner's motivation to participate in the programme and to change their behaviour (Crown 2004). Module two includes group members being introduced to the concept of physiological arousal and the relationship between arousal and performance. They are taught how to identify physiological changes that they experience when

  2. The Threat of Nuclear, Biological or Chemical Weapons and Terrorism.

    Animal laboratory workers and people working in infested buildings are at increased risk of contracting this disease. Hantavirus thought to be carried mainly by two common rodents, the white footed mouse and the deer mouse. These mice are native to most of the U.

  1. What causes crime and deviance in society, biological or social factors?

    Deviance is separated into two parts primary and secondary. Primary and secondary deviances were distinguished by Lemert (1951). Primary deviance includes: minor deviance not publically labelled and often not caught. However, secondary deviance is more public and the deviants are often labelled, shamed, shunned and humiliated by normal society.

  2. Describe the legislation that promotes the protection of children.

    paper No more excuses, also highly publicised the murder of two year old James Bulger by two ten year old boys Jon Venables and Robert Thompson which led to a full blown

  1. How does the notion of harm reveal the entangled relationships between social welfare and ...

    In any disaster the governments main aims should be to maintain crime control and ensure the peoples well being, by providing shelter, food, security and maintain education. After Katrina hit the government was unable to supply the people with what their needs and there was an increase in violence, looting, rapes and murders.

  2. Perceptions of wrongful convictions amongst Americans working in the criminal justice system.

    A brief historical summary of research concerning wrongful conviction is then outlined, and comments are made concerning the effect of the current ?get-tough? era on wrongful conviction. Finally, in this introductory chapter, there is a discussion of the extent of the problem of wrongful conviction and why the problem is important to study.

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