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Walter C. Reckless's Containment Theory

a presentation of the basic points to the containment theory.
by Rachel Austin on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Walter C. Reckless's Containment Theory

Walter C. Reckless's
Containment Theory the development The inner and outer controls All of this is easily summarized by self-control. in conclusion... During his conduction of studies at Ohio State University, criminologist Walter Reckless studied "non-delinquent" boys in a "high-delinquent" environment and came to a conclusion that a good self concept was a large factor in some of the boys' resistance to delinquency. Reckless generalized his findings into the containment theory: essentially, the "inner and outer control" systems control whatever motivations one may have to deviate toward illegal activity. The more Inner controls match to outer controls, the more likely one is to not deviate from their society's norms, which provides an explanation of deviance as well as conformity. The containment theory is limited in that, as it was meant to explain crime, it seems to overlook the definition of crime in differing cultures. One's inner forces may be considered "strong" and aligned with their own society's, yet they may deviate from another culture's prescriptive mores, allowing them to be labeled as having a "weak" inner core. The inner control system consists of:
moral and religious beliefs
personal sense of "right" and "wrong"
integrity
a strong self concept (consciousness) The outer control system consists of :
figures of influence
(family, teachers, etc.)
authorities (like police authorities) "Push-pull" forces Forces that cause deviant behavior are internal "pushes" (rebellion, boredom) and external "pulls" (fellow delinquents) Self control is achieved through socialization. Both the inner and outer controls are important to what one considers to be "right" or "wrong" and therefore determines one's actions in various situations. additionally, this theory does not explain cases which seem to contradict the laws of containment:
people who have strong cores who commit criminal acts
people with weak cores who do not deviate from laws. additionally, this theory does not explain cases which seem to contradict the laws of containment:
people who have strong cores who commit criminal acts
people with weak cores who do not deviate from laws. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1340936/Walter-Reckless Henslin, James M. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Boston: Pearson, 2006. Print.
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