- Stephen JonesStephen JonesHonorary Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Bristol
This chapter discusses the significance of control in the operation of society, which has been recognised by philosophers and writers for many centuries. Control is an aspect of most theories of crime and deviance, but it has not, until comparatively recently, been studied in its own right as a significant causal feature of crime and deviance. One possible reason for this is that criminologists were reluctant to research into ideas that so clearly support discipline and regulation, particularly in the liberal climate of the early 1960s. Also, the pathological undertones of the theory were unappealing to the sociologists who had largely come to replace the psychologists at the forefront of criminological writing. Furthermore, perhaps the importance of control was thought to accord with general common sense, and criminologists, in attempting to provide a mystique in order to have their discipline taken more seriously, preferred to concentrate on less-obvious phenomena.