"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Dangerous Driving and The Effects on Youth
In today's society, dangerous driving is criminal and is also considered
to be deviant. There are different levels of dangerous driving, all of which
have different meaning to different people, some are considered part of the
social norm and others are considered to be deviant. Speeding for example is
considered to be a norm of society. Everyone speeds and this is not considered
a problem which needs societies immediate attention, however there is a line
which changes speeding from being a criminal offense to a deviant offense. The
following analysis will provide a descriptive summary of the functionalist
perspective, the social control theory and the power control theory.
These theories have been applied to a news story in which two young
teens from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Renee and Danielle Orichefsky, were killed in
a dangerous driving accident. The driver was Ralph Parker, a twenty year old
man from Halifax who lost control of his sports car as he attempted to make a
turn on the corner where the girls were sitting. This article involves the day
of Mr. Park's conviction, the reaction of the girls' parents and also the
reaction of Mr. Park's mother.
The problem of dangerous driving as viewed from a theoretical standpoint
can easily be identified with the social control theory. The control theory
questions not what motivates individuals and society in general to indulge in
societal deviant behaviour but rather examines what is within the structure of a
society that causes individuals to conform to social laws. A social control
theorist would argue that it is social pressures that prevent people from acting
out in deviant manners; otherwise people would act upon inborn animal impulses.
In this case, Mr. Park it seems felt the need to drive his sports car very fast
and dangerously because it catered to his instinctive need for excitement. If
Mr. Park had been thinking about the possible consequences of killing two young
girls, he may have decided to slow down and be a little more careful. This is
because murder is a deviant act in our society and committing murder would not
be socially acceptable. Thus it can be concluded that that the structure and
organization of society is very influential in determining the conduct of
individuals in our society.
There are inner and outer controls related to the theory of social
control. Inner controls are considered as norms which have been internalized
through the socialization process. They are norms which are learned in the home
at a young age, and which are very relevant to an individuals level of self
control. The key players in inner controls would of course be the parents. In
this article, Mr. Parker's mother is spoken of, but there is no mention of his
father. Because there doesn't seem to be a father in this family, a social
control theorist might say that this may have had an impact on how Mr. Parker
feels about social and criminal laws.
Outer controls might have a strong impact on dangerous driving. That is
both formal controls as the threat of conviction and informal controls, such as
humiliation in front of friends, family and society as a whole. Society may
discount him from being a valuable member of society because his actions are
unforgivable by our society's standards. People are frowned upon for reckless
driving, and they are shunned for murder, which is how people may interpret this
horrible event. Both inner and outer controls are extremely efficient, in
suppressing behaviour that is considered to be socially deviant and non-
conformist. Thus, according to the social control theory, when the strength of
inner and outer controls are powerful and pressuring, the levels of deviance
will be lower. On the other hand, if an individual's controls are weak, and
outside societal influences are lower, then the level of deviance will increase.
In relation to this article which considering dangerous driving, an
individual's inner self control, that is their ability to restrain from acting
in such a manner, is an important factor in determining what one's decision will
be. The outer pressure from friends and family also has an influence. A social
control theorist may read this article and consider this person as someone who
did not conform with the ideals or society because his inner desires were to
strong, or because his inner and outer controls were too weak.
The theory of functionalism states that there is a use in society for
deviance and crime. The funtionalist approach considers four arguments as to why
this may be true, the first of which is group solidarity. The theory behind the
creation of group solidarity is that the fatal accident killing two young girls
will likely scare
View Full Essay
Criminology, Deviance, Control theory, Social control theory, Norm, Deviant, Dangerous driving, Moral entrepreneur, Secondary deviance, social control theory, dartmouth nova scotia, theoretical standpoint, functionalist perspective, social norm, ralph parker, instinctive need, theory questions, dangerous driving, deviant behaviour, social pressures, different meaning, criminal offense, young teens, theorist, young girls, impulses, sports car, halifax, danielle
More Free Essays Like This