Criminology and Social Theory

  • Uncategorized

CRITICAL REFLECTION 1

Criminologyand Social Theory

UniversityAffiliation

In 1956, D. W. Winnicott wrote an enlightening paper on “TheAntisocial Tendency.” Notably, the author made several claims inhis masterpiece. Antisocial tendency is always linked to aspects ofdeprivation. In this regard, antisocial acts such as bedwetting andstealing are viewed as environmental failures when the perpetratorexperiences relative dependence. Winnicott claimed that theantisocial tendency indicated certain failures in an infant.Favorable conditions during the period of absolute dependence werelost. The occurrence of the antisocial act was a strong indicationthat the person would rediscover the pleasurable experience thatoccurred before the immediate loss.

Furthermore, Winnicott argues that the antisocial tendency could notbe used as a diagnosis for both children and adults. The author notesthe similarity between delinquency and the antisocial tendency. Inparticular, both issues stemmed from deprivation during infancy.Winnicott also provided recommendations that could be used during thetreatment of deprivation. The author used various illustrations toshow how the antisocial tendency can be detected in a person with animmense urge to steal. The concept can also be discerned in anindividual who performs extreme acts of defiance. In the firstexample, the author’s teenage patient is enrolled into an approvedschool due to the failure of psychotherapy. In the secondillustration, Winnicott advises a female friend how to help her son,who is guilty of stealing (Winnicott, 1956, p.308). Consequently, theauthor argues that both parents and their children can be helpedduring the early stages of deprivation.

In addition, Winnicott argues that therapeutic interventions mustconsider the effects of unconscious communication. The author claimsthat a deprived child was more hopeful than a child who manifestedgood behavior. Winnicott stated that the latter child was essentiallydefeated and hopeless (Winnicott, 1956, p. 309). However, thispremise was quite misleading since the conclusion was based on falseclaims. In fact, children who were brought up in loving familiesdisplayed fewer acts of aggression and disillusionment. Caringparents could comfort their children and show them undividedattention such that the latter would manifest socially-acceptableconduct. Therefore, it was wrong to assume that a child with goodbehavior was irredeemable.

Besides, Winnicott emphasized the importance of viewing an antisocialact as an expression of deep-seated need. Adults had to understandsuch facts before reacting with anger and hatred. Intolerance ormismanagement prevented children from overcoming antisocialtendencies. Deprivation referred to a person with an unconsciousmemory of experiencing love while privation applied where a childsuffered perpetual bad treatment. Winnicott used these definitions toshow the failures due to the person’s environment. The extent ofdeprivation was also dependent on the type of upbringing.

Nevertheless, Winnicott made several assumptions that could weakenthe strength of his inference. The author labeled all antisocial actsas expressions of a person’s fundamental needs. In this regard,Winnicott assumed that well-adjusted children were incapable ofperforming antisocial acts. He also misrepresented parenting as ashow of constant support and approval. In some cases, parents andguardians were required to discipline their children. Erroneous formsof conduct would hardly warrant the seal of parental approval.Parents could not fulfill all the wishes and desires of theirchildren as reflective of master-slave relationships. Nonetheless,denial of some requests could not be adjudged as deprivation.

Winnicott relies on the principle of cause and effect to accentuatehis analysis. Such reasoning is misleading since some outcomes couldnot be readily attributable to certain circumstances. For instance, awealthy man could provide a hefty inheritance that allows his childto reap unprecedented success. On the other hand, a deprived childcould take advantage of financial circumstances to excel. It wasequally likely that a pampered child could squander his or herinheritance and experience bankruptcy. Persons from poor backgroundsmay be doomed due to lack of exposure and inexistent academicqualifications. Therefore, the author’s assumptions were based onmisleading principles.

The author’s arguments would create chaos since many people woulduse their upbringing as an excuse for antisocial behaviors.Outstanding contradictions occur in the application of theanti-social tendency. Winnicott restricted the effects of antisocialacts to infants and children. Notwithstanding, many adults manifestedcertain behaviors due to childhood experiences. Delinquent mannerismscharacterized violent criminals and crafty thieves. Robbers wereusually inspired by successes during their youth. Hence, it wascontradictory to undermine the effects of the anti-social tendencyamong adults.

Winnicott’s work was created in the context of the Second WorldWar. The author worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist for the expansiveevacuation scheme (Abram, 2007, p. 48). Winnicott gave plenty ofbroadcasts and talks due to his experiences. The post-war discussionsfocused on issues such as deprivation and separation. Suchexperiences motivated Winnicott to portray the antisocial tendency asa beaming sign of hope. In many instances, deprived children weresubjected to delinquency. The problems faced by such persons werequite predictable regardless of the circumstances.

Winnicott was exposed to children in need of special provisions owingto their troubled upbringing. The proliferation of war createdextensive disruption of family life as parents were separated fromtheir children. The loss of material property and death of loved onescreated intense sadness and disillusionment. Subsequently, manychildren engaged in bizarre behavior while coping with deprivation.Winnicott’s viewpoints and assumptions were shaped by hisinteractions with deprived children. His thoughts on emotional growthand development were similarly affected.

The antisocial tendency is quite relevant in many situations. Forexample, evacuees during war and social conflicts can lose hope dueto deprivation. Other individuals may lack a reliable holdingenvironment during critical stages of their emotional andpsychological development. The article has wider significance withregards to the management of psychotic patients. Healthcarepractitioners are especially required to show patience andunderstanding. Individuals who refused treatment or hurled insults atmedical practitioners should be treated with kindness. Adolescentswith challenging behavior also needed practical guidance in harmonywith their personal skills and capabilities.

Winnicott’sarticle makes numerous original contributions to ongoing debates ondeprivation. The author credits the mother-infant relationship as thedeterminant of antisocial tendencies. In this regard, the initialsigns of deprivation were seldom recognized. Children manifestgreediness through their interactions with the environment(Winnicott, 1956, p. 312). The infant is compelled to seekcompensation from his or her surroundings to ease their sense ofdeprivation. Personality distortion occurs when the child attributeshis or her depression to external factors (Winnicott, 1956, p.313).Parents have a wonderful opportunity to address antisocial tendenciesduring the early stages of development. The article presented uniqueinsights on the timing of deprivation after absolute dependency.Infants develop strong awareness of their vulnerability during thetime of relative dependence. Parental neglect at this juncture cancreate an insatiable desire for approval and intimacy. Hence, thearticle showed that antisocial acts occurred due to deprivation atcertain stages of emotional development.

Winnicott’s paper bears several similarities to contemporarydebates on juvenile delinquency. Law enforcement agencies causefamily separation when juveniles are incarcerated. Many offenders areincited to commit crimes due to interactions with devious peers.Regular association with irresponsible friends causes children toadopt harmful or offensive attitudes. Some youths join local criminalgangs that are infamous for robbery, violence, and vandalism. Drugbarons exploit the naivety of children to use them as unsuspectingpeddlers. Winnicott’s paper relates to contemporary debates in thearea of parental responsibility. Parents and guardians must enforcediscipline to the proper degree whenever children overstep theirboundaries.

Indeed, homes without established rules are environments of constantconflict. Children thrive where proper boundaries exist since theydevelop certainty. Structured homes act as a source of comfort andprotection. Although some parents undermine the value of house rules,it is proper to protect children from the consequences of thoughtlessdecisions. Winnicott’s paper also relates to earlier discoveriesabout mental development. In this regard, previous theories haveshown an increased likelihood of naivety in youths. Children seemincapable of considering the repercussions of bad decisions. Blindedfocus on momentary pleasure exposes teenagers to lifelongimplications. Past studies have shown how adolescents were yet toexperience comprehensive mental maturity. The cortex was customarilyunderdeveloped during teenage years. Hence, adolescents were morelikely to imitate their peers’ behavior. Participation in drugabuse, bullying, prostitution, smoking, and alcohol abuse were commonamong youths. Girls were at risk of unplanned pregnancies while boysfaced the threat of harmful diseases. On the other hand, Winnicottshowed the vulnerabilities associated with an infant’s emotionaldevelopment. Deprivation during the period of relative dependencewould always results in antisocial acts. Consequently, it was vitalfor children to have proper mental and emotional development.

References

Abram, J., 2007. The language of Winnicott: A dictionary ofWinnicott`s use of words. London: Karnac Books.

Winnicott, D.W., 1956. The antisocial tendency. Throughpaediatrics to psychoanalysis, pp.306-315.

CRIMINOLOGY AND SOCIAL THEORY

  • Uncategorized

Criminology and social theory: 3

CRIMINOLOGYAND SOCIAL THEORY

(Instructor)

(Date)

Succinctexposition

Accordingto W. Outhwaite (1987, Pp. 5-18), the social world is facing variousissues today. Notably, the recent disarray regarding social sciencesphilosophy has been associated with empiricist philosophies as wellas their demise. Outhwaite argues that the best approach towardssaving the social world from its current impasse is through a realistevaluation of the processes and structures which build it. Theprocesses are diverse. They range from interpersonal collaborationand negotiation of meaning to the confining of influence of marketstructures. Typically, the processes cannot be perceived as justconstructs in theorists’ mind because they create the social worldin the manner that people view it. In such case, Outhwaite generatesa few implications of the approach and at the same time, presents arealist perception of some distinct concept theoretical controversiesand traditions within the field of sociology as well as other socialsciences.

Meanwhile,the principal theoretical traditions that Outhwaite presented includerealism as well as Critical Theory and hermeneutics. Firstly, throughrealism, Outhwaite wanted people to understand the lives of othersand why they behave or do certain things. People do as well asperceive things differently. In such case, understanding why they dosuch things is the best approach towards living peacefully with them.Realist like figuring out things and letting people learn from them.Outhwaite wanted to give people a bigger picture about life (Winch,1958). At some point, realism tends to generate meaning from thingsthat people perceive as incompetence. On the other hand,hermeneutics, which is a method of interpretation, targets to addressproblems that arise while handling competent human actions. Outhwaite(1987, pp. 5-18) used the theoretical controversy to help peopleaddress issues relating to interpretation of human deeds. Lastly,through Critical Theory, Outhwaite wanted to emerge with a world thatsatisfies human powers and needs. Human beings do not require anyform of enslavement hence social movements recognize distinctdenomination of humans, which thus aim at giving freedom to all.

Criticalanalysis

Socialliving is the objective of every creature from around the world. Itis the nature of human beings to interact, learn from each throughsharing and even participate in giving the best in life. According toWinnicott (1956), antisocial tendency is always linked to aspects ofdeprivation, an aspect that denies humans a chance to coexist freely.In such case, Outhwaite perception of realism tends to lose meaning.If people are not interacting, then life becomes meaningless.Antisocial acts such as bedwetting and stealing are viewed asenvironmental failures when the perpetrator experiences relativedependence. Winnicott (1956) argues that the antisocial tendency isan indication of certain failures in an infant, which does notcorrelate with the objectives of Critical Theory. Favorableconditions during the period of absolute dependence were lost. Theoccurrence of the antisocial act was a strong indication that theperson would rediscover the pleasurable experience that occurredbefore the immediate loss.

Theability to interpret freely is a ubiquitous activity. Most peoplehide different agendas to themselves, hence understanding them helpsone to grasp the reality of life. Hermeneutics has changed overtimethe problems as well as the tools that are utilized in the unfoldingprocess have shifted too. At some point, human actions contradictpeople while trying to understand whether or not they are physicalphenomena. If not the case, realists tend to wonder how the actionsshould be treated (Outhwaite, 1987, pp. 5-18). For instance,antisocial behaviors could not be used as a diagnosis for bothchildren and adults since there is a similarity between delinquencyand the antisocial tendency. In particular, both issues stemmed fromdeprivation during infancy. Winnicott also provided recommendationsthat could be used during the treatment of deprivation. The authorused various illustrations to show how the antisocial tendency can bedetected in a person with an immense urge to steal (Winch, 1958). Theconcept can also be discerned in an individual who performs extremeacts of defiance. In the first example, the author’s teenagepatient is enrolled into an approved school due to the failure ofpsychotherapy. In the second illustration, Winnicott advises a femalefriend how to help her son, who is guilty of stealing (Winnicott,1956, Pp.308). Consequently, the author argues that both parents andtheir children can be helped during the early stages of deprivation.The entire issue can be understood clearly with the incorporation ofhermeneutics, which unmasks the hidden facts. In such case, realitycan be brought out to the light.

Realismcan be confusing and at some point it can lead to a wrong judgment.According to Winnicott (1956, p. 309) therapeutic interventions mustconsider the effects of unconscious communication. A deprived childis more hopeful than a child who has manifested good behavior. Thelatter child was essentially defeated and hopeless (Winnicott, 1956,p. 309). However, this premise was quite misleading since theconclusion was based on false claims. In fact, children who werebrought up in loving families displayed fewer acts of aggression anddisillusionment. Caring parents could comfort their children and showthem undivided attention such that the latter would manifestsocially-acceptable conduct. Therefore, it was wrong to assume that achild with good behavior was irredeemable.

Typically,antisocialism is continuing to take over the world and all becausepeople do not want to understand each other. There is need to view anantisocial act as an expression of deep-seated need. Adults have toperceive such facts prior reacting with anger and hatred. Intoleranceor mismanagement prevented children from overcoming antisocialtendencies. Deprivation referred to a person with an unconsciousmemory of experiencing love while privation applied where a childsuffered perpetual bad treatment (Taylor, 1977, pp.123-130). Thefailures associated with a person’s environment may be the reasonbehind certain acts, which is the reality of life. Outhwaite wantedpeople to realize that the extent of deprivation is also dependent onthe type of upbringing.

Significanceof the reading

Whileliving in the social world, Outhwaite ideas and teachings arerelevant. Through socialism, Critical Theory and hermeneutics, peoplestrive to make the world a better place. Firstly, socialism helpspeople to understand others without necessarily making forcejudgments. For instance, the principle of cause and effect can bemisleading since some outcomes could not be readily attributable tocertain circumstances (Taylor, 1977, pp.101-112). For instance, awealthy man could provide a hefty inheritance that allows his childto reap unprecedented success. On the other hand, a deprived childcould take advantage of financial circumstances to excel. It wasequally likely that a pampered child could squander his or herinheritance and experience bankruptcy. Persons from poor backgroundsmay be doomed due to lack of exposure and inexistent academicqualifications.

Humanactions are not physical phenomena since them losing meaning makes itcategorically different. For instance, many people would use theirupbringing as an excuse for antisocial behaviors. Outstandingcontradictions occur in the application of the anti-social tendency.Winnicott restricted the effects of antisocial acts to infants andchildren. Notwithstanding, many adults manifested certain behaviorsdue to childhood experiences. Delinquent mannerisms characterizedviolent criminals and crafty thieves. Robbers were usually inspiredby successes during their youth. Hence, it was contradictory toundermine the effects of the anti-social tendency among adults.

Anindividual who has been exposed to people with needs of specialprovisions owing to their troubled upbringing has a chance to embracereality. The proliferation of war created extensive disruption offamily life as parents were separated from their children (Popper,1976). The loss of material property and death of loved ones createdintense sadness and disillusionment. Subsequently, many childrenengaged in bizarre behavior while coping with deprivation (Garland,1990, chs. 2-3). People’s viewpoints and assumptions are shaped bytheir interactions with deprived individuals. Their thoughts onemotional growth and development were similarly affected.

Socialissues and the social world are quite relevant in many situations.For example, evacuees during war and social conflicts can lose hopedue to deprivation (Garland, 1990, chs. 2-3). Other individuals maylack a reliable holding environment during critical stages of theiremotional and psychological development. The reading has widersignificance with regards to the management of psychotic patients(Popper, 1976). Healthcare practitioners are especially required toshow patience and understanding. Individuals who refused treatment orhurled insults at medical practitioners should be treated withkindness. Adolescents with challenging behavior also needed practicalguidance in harmony with their personal skills and capabilities.

Winnicott(1956, pp. 312) supports the reading while making numerous originalcontributions to ongoing debates on deprivation, which at some pointaffects realism. The author credits the mother-infant relationship asthe determinant of antisocial tendencies. In this regard, the initialsigns of deprivation were seldom recognized. Children manifestgreediness through their interactions with the environment. Theinfant is compelled to seek compensation from his or her surroundingsto ease their sense of deprivation. Personality distortion occurswhen the child attributes his or her depression to external factors(Winnicott, 1956, pp.306-315). Parents have a wonderful opportunityto address antisocial tendencies during the early stages ofdevelopment. The article presented unique insights on the timing ofdeprivation after absolute dependency. Infants develop strongawareness of their vulnerability during the time of relativedependence. Parental neglect at this juncture can create aninsatiable desire for approval and intimacy (Giddens, 1976). Hence,the article showed that antisocial acts occurred due to deprivationat certain stages of emotional development.

Indeed,homes without established rules are environments of constantconflict. Children thrive where proper boundaries exist since theydevelop certainty. Structured homes act as a source of comfort andprotection. Although some parents undermine the value of house rules,it is proper to protect children from the consequences of thoughtlessdecisions. The reading also relates to earlier discoveries aboutmental development (Giddens, 1976). In this regard, previous theorieshave shown an increased likelihood of naivety in youths. Childrenseem incapable of considering the repercussions of bad decisions.Blinded focus on momentary pleasure exposes teenagers to lifelongimplications. Past studies have shown how adolescents were yet toexperience comprehensive mental maturity (Abram, 2007). The cortexwas customarily underdeveloped during teenage years. Hence,adolescents were more likely to imitate their peers’ behavior.Participation in drug abuse, bullying, prostitution, smoking, andalcohol abuse were common among youths. Girls were at risk ofunplanned pregnancies while boys faced the threat of harmfuldiseases. On the other hand, Winnicott showed the vulnerabilitiesassociated with an infant’s emotional development. Deprivationduring the period of relative dependence would always results inantisocial acts. Consequently, it was vital for children to haveproper mental and emotional development.

References

Abram,J., 2007. Thelanguage of Winnicott: A dictionary of Winnicott`s use of words.London:Karnac Books.

Garland,D., 1990. Punishmentand Modern Society.Oxford: OUP, chs. 2-3.

Giddens,A., 1976. NewRules of Sociological Method.London: Hutchinson.

Outhwaite,W., 1987. NewPhilosophies of Social Science.London: MacMillan, pp. 5- 18.

Popper,K., 1976. TheLogic of the Social Sciences, in Adorno et al, The Positivist Disputein German Sociology.London: Heinemann.

Taylor,C., 1977. Interpretation and the Sciences of Mana reprinted inDallmayr and McCarthy (e.d), Understanding and Social Inquiry. NotreDame, IN: Universityof Notre Dame Press, pp.101-112123-130

Winch,P., 1958. TheIdea of a Social Science.London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Winnicott,D.W., 1956. The antisocial tendency. Throughpaediatrics to psychoanalysis,pp.306-315.