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Similarities and differences between Sykes and Matzas’ notion of ‘drift’ and life course theories’ notion of ‘resistance’ Essay Sample Malaysia

Sykes and Matza’s notion of ‘drift’ and life course theories’ notion of ‘resistance’ are two important concepts to consider when understanding how individuals fit into social contexts. ‘Drift’ can be seen as a situation where an individual temporarily compromises their values as a means of dealing with uncomfortable experiences, whereas ‘resistance’ is the idea that individuals may make conscious decisions to ignore or oppose powerful pressures that are pushed upon them in times of crisis.

Despite their differences, the two ideas share some common ground. Both explore how individuals navigate powerful forces so they can achieve certain goals. As such, by exploring the differences and similarities between these two concepts we can uncover ways to better understand individuals’ behavior within society.

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What is Matza’s concept of drift?

Kenneth Matza’s concept of drift proposes that low-level, lower-class delinquents generally conform to the expectations of police and are less likely to cause serious criminal behaviour. In contrast, delinquents who are more affluent or hold higher socio-economic positions may become entangled in the felony system due to greater opportunities and resources available to them. Overall, Matza argued this phenomenon is a result of inadequate guidance, weak family ties and vulnerability to peer influences. As such, his concept of drift places emphasis on social influences and suggests a less punitive approach to criminal behaviour when dealing with lower-class criminals.

What is life course theories’ notion of resistance?

Life course theories’ notion of resistance suggests that individuals may choose to ignore or oppose powerful pressures in times of crisis. This concept emphasizes the idea that individuals possess the power and agency to resist cultural norms, values, and expectations imposed upon them. Life course theorists maintain that individuals can make conscious decisions about their identity, behaviour and life trajectories in order to achieve certain goals. This approach implies that individuals have the potential to act independently and can actively shape their own lives if given the opportunity.

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What are some similarities between Sykes and Matza’s notion of drift and life course theories’ notion of resistance?

Both Sykes and Matza’s notion of drift and life course theories’ notion of resistance share some common ground. Both concepts explore how individuals navigate powerful forces so they can achieve certain goals, such as maintaining their values or resisting cultural norms. Additionally, both concepts emphasize the importance of social influences and suggest a less punitive approach to criminal behaviour when dealing with lower-class criminals. Lastly, both concepts imply that individuals possess the power and agency to shape their own lives if given the opportunity.

What are some differences between Sykes and Matza’s notion of drift and life course theories’ notion of resistance?

While there are some similarities, there are also distinct differences between Sykes and Matza’s notion of drift and life course theories’ notion of resistance. Sykes and Matza’s concept of drift proposes that low-level, lower-class delinquents generally conform to the expectations of police and are less likely to cause serious criminal behaviour. Life course theories’ notion of resistance suggests that individuals may choose to ignore or oppose powerful pressures in times of crisis. Additionally, Sykes and Matza’s concept of drift is based on the idea that individuals fall into crime due to external influences, whereas life course theorists argue that individuals may actively shape their own lives if given the opportunity.

Overall, by exploring the differences and similarities between these two concepts we can better understand human behavior within society. By recognizing the power of agency and individual decision-making as well as external influences, we can develop a better understanding of individuals’ criminal behaviour.

Furthermore, these concepts have implications for how society approaches criminal behavior. For example, accepting Sykes and Matza’s notion of drift may lead to more lenient treatment or intervention strategies for lower-class criminals, whereas recognizing the power of resistance may prompt stronger interventions such as increased monitoring or rehabilitation programs. In either case, understanding these perspectives will help shape how society responds to criminal behaviour and hopefully assist in reducing crime.

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