SAGE Journal Articles
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We hypothesized that threats to people’s social (i.e., group) identity can trigger deviant attitudes and behaviors. A correlational study and five experiments showed that experiencing or recalling situations associated with the devaluation of a social identity caused participants to endorse or engage in deviant actions, including stealing, cheating, and lying. The effect was driven by the tendency to construe social identity threats not as isolated incidents but as symbolic of the continuing devaluation and disrespectful treatment of one’s group. Supplementing sociological approaches to deviance and delinquency, the results suggest the relevance and utility of a social-psychological account.
The researchers conducted a total of 5 studies to determine the impact that disrespect and undignified treatment can induce deviance.
Questions to Consider:
- What is the deviant behavior measured in Study 1?
- Why are the outcomes of Study 1 different than the other studies conducted by the researchers?
- What did the researchers uncover regarding the impact of race on social identity and social deviance?
Article 2: Dornbusch, S. M., Erickson, K. G., Laird, J., & Wong, C. A. (2001). The relation of family and school attachment to adolescent deviance in diverse groups and communities. Journal of Adolescent Research , 16, 396-422.
This longitudinal study used a national probability sample of adolescents to examine whether attachments to the family and school reduced five forms of adolescent deviance: cigarette smoking, alcohol use, marijuana use, delinquency, and violent behavior. The authors assessed whether these factors reduced the overall frequency, prevalence, and intensity of each problem behavior. The study also examined the power of these attachments to reduce deviance among adolescents who were differentiated in terms of gender, ethnicity, and their community’s level of economic deprivation. Overall, adolescent attachments to family and school tended to reduce the overall frequency, prevalence, and intensity of deviant involvement, regardless of community context, gender, or ethnic group. Parental reports of attachment to the adolescent, compared with adolescent reports of connection to the family, were the stronger predictors of lower levels of deviance. Attachment to school predicted lower levels of initiation of deviant behavior but did not predict the intensity of deviance.
Using Hirschi’s theory of social control, the researchers examine the influences of family and school attachments on various forms of adolescent deviance.
Questions to Consider:
- What are the five types of adolescent deviance measured by the researchers?
- Explain the impact that gender and ethnicity have on attachment and deviance?
- Explain how this study supports the Hirschi’s theory of social control.
Article 3: Spraitz, J.D., Bowen, K.N. (2015) Techniques of Neutralization and Persistent Sexual Abuse by Clergy: A Content Analysis of Priest Personnel Files From the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1–24.
The sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church has received considerable attention by the media in recent years and growing attention from empirical researchers. Despite this growth, there is a lack of theoretical research that uses neutralization techniques to examine clergy offending. Using Sykes and Matza’s theory, this study examines the techniques of neutralization used by accused priests in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Priests’ personnel files, which were made publicly available by the Archbishop of Milwaukee in July 2013, were analyzed retrospectively through a qualitative content analysis of all direct statements and correspondences from the accused. The findings indicate that many priests denied responsibility or injury in an effort to justify their sexually abusive behaviors, but that no discernible patterns of technique use emerged. The need for continued research using recently released personnel files from other dioceses is also discussed.
The researchers analyze clergy sexual abuse through the lens of neutralization theory. Using qualitative content analysis, this article focuses on the cases of 42 priests from the Milwaukee Archdiocese who were accused of sexual abuse.
Questions to Consider:
- Explain Sykes and Matza’s techniques of neutralization using the priests statements as examples.
- According to the researchers, does every technique of neutralization lead to persistent offending?
- Based upon this article, compare and contrast clergy versus non-clergy sex offenders.