Family And Social Pathology Education Essay

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From an early age we learn and develop a sense of self, to be a good resident and friend which primarily influence our role in society. The way in which we learn to do this is through socialization. Mainly there are two agents of socialization, these are Primary and Secondary Socialization. (Oxford University Press 2002) This assignment will discuss the differing views of these and to which is more significant in developing patterns of deviance and criminality.

Before discussing the effects of these two agents of socialization It is important to firstly clarify what is meant by deviance and criminality.

Deviance arises from acts that are disapproved of, imposing of social judgements from members of a community, society and political concerns on the behaviour or acts of others. These judgements can be based on norms and values of others in diverse societies (Oxford University Press 2002). Where as Criminality Oxford University Press (2002, online) Describes crime as "the violation of laws, or more precisely those social norms that have become subject to state control and legal sanctions reliant on punishment". However how people perceive both deviance and criminality varies, some people may see certain criminal acts or deviance as quite normal depending on their experiences and social upbringing.

Primary Socialization

Primary socialization occurs in the early stages of a young person's life and is period of "development of intellectual, emotional and social self"..The family and close community are the main agents in Primary socialization and can determine prevention or contribution of deviant and criminal activity. (Sanderson, 2009)

Family/Social pathology

Initially From birth a child connects with behaviours of the parents. This interaction, more often than not, will be with the birth mother. (Gormly, 1997, Reissland, 1998 cited in Digiulio 2001). According to Bowlby (1969 cited in Wagner .K 2009 ) "Attachment helps to keep the infant and mother relationship a close one thus improving the child's chances of survival". This early relationship offers sense of security and protection in which to socially learn. Difficulty with making this attachment can lead to difficulties in behaviour in childhood and through its life course. (Wagner .K 2009,).

As the child grows Parents need to inculcate society's values and standards so that conformity (social control) is internalized by voluntarily means, rather than from authority. (Grusec, J. E 2006.). As (Wagner 2009) REFERS TO Kohlberg's Theory suggests, CHILDREN go through different stages OF REASONING OF Moral Development. At the early stage of reasoning a child will learn to conform to rules to avoid been punished. At the next level the child gains an understanding of ways to ascertain individual needs through PERSONAL VIEWS AND BY their actions. Further on the child develops understanding OF Conforming and how DECISIONS made can shape relationships with others. At the latter stages, children learn about consideration for society, its rules of authority norms, ethics and values of others.

Parents can ALSO take a lead role in PORTRAYING MORALITY by DISPLAYING suitable behaviour THEMSELVES, by Managing their own emotions and interactions with others. THEY CAN SET OUT guidance and boundaries which will enable the child to gain REASONING OF appropriate behaviour needed in society they belong. (Dhs, 2000). THOSE Parents on the other hand displaying deviant or criminal behaviours in front of the child; the more likely the child is of not developing morally but instead copying these behaviours and learning unacceptable traits. (Observational learning or modelling theory). Such behaviours learnt could be, for example domestic violence, aggression, disobedience, language used, drug and alcohol use.

We can also understand how the impact of parental child rearing can affect the child behavioural development by the techniques parents use. Vincent Iannelli, (2004), suggests "physiologists have identified 3 types of child rearing".

Authoritarian; Parents are in control, disciplinarian and use physical punishment. Whilst Permissive Parents are relaxed around control, set few rules and respond in the same way to child's behaviour good or bad. Authoritative parents use teaching methods, not punishing ones, teaching children to be accountable and understanding consequences of their actions (Operant conditioning). Giving Clear expectations and following this through by reinforcing positive behaviour, they do this in a caring way. (Vincent Iannelli, 2004).

The Impact of these Parenting Styles (Wagner, 2009) suggests can have differing outcomes for the child. Authoritarian parenting usually leads to children who are compliant and competent but are sad and lack social skills and self esteem. Whilst Permissive Parenting leads to children who are unhappy, lack discipline and Get into trouble with authority and have low achievement in school. Authoritive parenting "results in children who are happy, capable and successful" Maccoby (1992 cited by Wagner, 2009). Authoritive parenting therefore is the more likely technique that would promote the child to be socially responsible (Wagner.2009) and therefore less likely hood of delinquency. A fourth parenting style Maccoby & Martin (1983, cited by Wagner.2009) suggested was the Uninvolved Parents, who whilst serving the child's basic needs, are usually disconnected from their children, resulting in the child's lack of self-control, who are less capable and have little self esteem. Furthermore when looking at how Delinquency can arise from parenting received according to (Williams K.S, 2001p 382) is as a result of insufficient levels of supervision by family members. This could be down to Single parent, absent mother or father from the home (broken families). Or where large families exist this would mean less time to SUPERVISE individually (West 1982 cited in Williams K.S, 2001p.383). Similarly we can see how this child/family relationship is an important one has it provides emotional warmth, safety, boundaries and offers stimulation and cognitive development from interactions, activities and communication together (DHS, 2000) If however the lack of this positive relationship is missing could lead to INAPROPRIATE behavior AND deviancy is learnt. SIMILIARLY AS Williams (2001p.383) claims that "the whole relationship Inc discipline, parental disharmony, low parental involvement, encouragement and supervision" are related to criminal convictions.


We can now look at the other agent of primary socialization of children which takes place in the community and the role social capital plays in the control of delinquent behaviours and raising aspirations of families and young people. As (Putnam 2000 cited in smith 2005) in his book Bowling alone suggested, social capital helps community members sort out conflict and problems better by working together, sharing responsibility in ensuring that social norms of behavior and conformity are respected.

Where community breakdown occurs, I've witnessed by the closure of the mining industry. People moved out, houses became derelict then habited with deviant, delinquent people with low aspirations. Soon the affects of community life it's functioning and respect for social order was broken. Lack of Morality and Delinquency was rife, and Community members became inward looking. Young people being brought in these communities learnt traits through observation of those around them, its environment and from their own family values, beliefs and behaviours. Over many years and with a lot of hard work and investment in collective social capital, residents and families pulled together and formed various action groups, which increased public and political awareness. Streets became cleaner, safer, crime rates fell and child development through participation as a result of social capital increased.

This is strengthened as (Coleman 1998,1990 in Gilchrist. A, 2004) mentions In his research that through strong family and community interactions young people did well at school, shared views on reciprocity, were responsible and helpful. which highlights with strong investment of cooperative action within community functioning the young people and their families benefit and the risk of deviance is minimized.

Secondary socialization

As the child grows secondary Socialization takes its role on young people, this is learnt in school and from peers.

School is about learning about the (Official Curriculum) which is about the system of teaching subjects to learn and been rewarded for achieving through grades of attainment. School can be a place to teach social values, beliefs, and customs in society Children learn also about social behaviour and how to interact with peers who they are not familiar with (Social Curriculum). School can also teach young people about the rules, behaviour, obedience, to conform and perform outside the family and within groups and it teaches pupils to obey authority figures. (Hidden Curriculum).All of these can be seen to dispute some dysfunctional family's beliefs, values and rules of functioning. (Sociology central online no date)

Children primarily socialised within such families where deviance has been learnt and to which is still prominent, Id suggest would start to struggle with their education, socialising skills and conformity to school rules. They'd probably find the systems in place too hard manage. These children are at risk of becoming labelled, treated as non academic achievers and looked upon and taught in a different way. As (Hargreaves 1967 cited in Williams. K 2001 p.385) reported school children can be seen to be categorized by potential to achieve; those with low expectations are separated into low ability classes and treated differently. Pupils become cynical of school and fail to relationships with teachers. These pupils make relationships with their peers with comparable traits and opinions of school, which allows them to carry out delinquent behavior. In another study Rutter et al (1979 cited in Williams. K 2001 p.385) found that schools with high numbers of delinquency had high absenteeism and pupils achieved educational attainment these tended to be from low social class families. What both reports highlighted more however was the ways in which teachers respond to pupil's academic learning through discipline and reward (control). The non achieving ones who are disciplined and who become to feel alienated and their perceptions of school become damaged lose interest in school and drop out especially in their final year, (Williams. K 2001).This according to Box (1981 cited in Williams. K 2001 p.386) "may all lead towards criminality".

School does therefore play a part in creating deviant and future criminal activities through its teaching methods and curriculum styles of management and control. It can change this by understanding difficulties young people face at home and the parenting needs of the family. And deliver this by providing teaching methods around conforming in a helpful supportive way. For this to happen it needs some form of primary socialization to have taken place, but this cannot always be possible. (Williams. K 2001)

Peer Groups/ sub cultural

Peers socialization can be seen with friends, buddies, of similar age, growth and maturity, who live close by with personalities that are alike. Children come across peer group influence at an early age; these tend to be with family or neighbours. These interactions are closely watched by parents and so their standards of behaviour are internalised by the child. Even with the close supervision of the parents children learn about social skills in group situations with those similar social identity. As child gets older peer group interactions become more self-governing and are less supervised the child learns about negotiation, control and leadership, teamwork, give and take, etc... As the young person reaches adolescence, peer group relationships become extremely important, rising up to directly challenge the family. (Sociology central no date). It is at this stage as referred to by (Sutherland cited By Robert L. O'Block, Joseph F. Donnermeyer, Stephen E. Doeren 1991, page 62) That some young people can become delinquent through relationships with deviant peer groups. Whilst other young people are lawful because other groups deter and reject peers displaying unlawful behaviour. (Differential theory). Therefore peers become Socialization learning models and can influence behaviours.

Children wanting interaction will try to attach to a peer group and please peers by expressing behaviours to fit in. Children expressing deviant behaviours they've learnt from family and who've had bad school socialization will be accepted by deviant groups but rejected by other more socially conforming groups. The deviancy carries on and more so amplified. Peer Pressures accepted and its functioning can lead to young people committing acts of criminality rather than be rejected such acts could inc; vandalism; shop lifting drug use e.t.c. heaven 1994 suggests susceptibility to this peer pressure is less likely if children have been brought up by authoritative parents. But as we have seen not all parents use this style of parenting and in many circumstances children attach themselves to peer groups as a result of rejection by parents.


The primary socialization is a period of development that will inform the Childs sense of morality, autonomy and social behaviour through its life course. It will inform or deter a young person's criminal activities later in life dependant on parental responsibility, functioning and community lived in. The family's ability to provide a child with beliefs and values appropriate to conform within society and authority will be the primary factor that will outweigh school and peer influences. School does create deviance but as we have seen this is mainly due to family circumstances and socialization learnt from them. Peer socialization also creates deviance but again a child who has received appropriate upbringing will socialise with similar peers those who have received inappropriate family socialization or who have been rejected by parents will attract and interact with deviant groups. It is for these reasons that I conclude that primary socialization is more significant than secondary socialization in developing patterns of deviant criminal behaviour.