Commitment, deviance, and social control

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This article extends earlier work (Ulmer 1994) in applying Johnson's (1991) threefold commitment framework to deviance and social control. The central individual-level theories of deviance (differential association/social learning, opportunity, social control, and labeling) share the generic sociological goal of theorizing continuity in lines of action. This suggests the centrality of the concept of commitment, and in fact the concept is used throughout the study of deviance and social control. The threefold framework provides a superior conceptualization of commitment for the field of deviance. In addition, it integrates insights from the central deviance theories and directs attention to a wide variety of un-and underexplored directions for further research in deviance and social control. In addition, I briefly discuss broader implications of the commitment framework for other areas of inquiry, such as the study of social protest and the sociology of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-336
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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