Toward a General Theory of Social Control - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121028015, 9781483267029

Toward a General Theory of Social Control

1st Edition


Editors: Donald Black
eBook ISBN: 9781483267029
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1984
Page Count: 378
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Studies on Law and Social Control: Toward a General Theory of Social Control, Volume 1: Fundamentals focuses on the dynamics, practices, and mechanisms involved in social control.

The selection first underscores social control as a dependent variable and division of labor in social control. Discussions focus on the explanation of division of social control labor; concept of division of social control labor; conceptions of the relationship between law and social control; quantity of normative behavior; and concept of social control. The text then takes a look at the stage of disputing to complaining, liability and social structure, and social organization of vengeance. Topics include revenge among inmates, contingency of vengeance, design of vengeance, liability and conflict management, idiom of liability in stateless societies, and complaining and the direction of law.

The publication ponders on the variability of punishment, compensation in cross-cultural perspective, therapy and social solidarity, logic of mediation, and gossips and scandals. Concerns include role of gossip in small-scale societies, therapeutic social control in individualistic groups and tribal societies, social organization of compensation, and existing theories of punishment.

The selection is a vital source of data for sociologists and researchers interested in the fundamentals of social control.

Table of Contents



Contents of Volume 2

1 Social Control as a Dependent Variable

Beyond Law

The Concept of Social Control

Varieties of Normative Behavior

The Quantity of Normative Variation

Models of Social Control

The Good, the True, and the Beautiful


2 The Division of Labor in Social Control

Conceptions of the Relationship Between Law and Social Control

The New Conception and the Old Sociologies of Law and Social Control

The Concept of Division of Social Control Labor

Explaining the Division of Social Control Labor


3 From Disputing to Complaining

Organizing Ethnographic Diversity

The Berkeley Village Law Project

Complaining and the Direction of Law

A Choice of Two Models

Concluding Remarks


4 Liability and Social Structure

Liability and Conflict Management

The Idiom of Liability in Stateless Societies

Implications for a General Theory of Liability


5 The Social Organization of Vengeance

The Justice of Vengeance

The Civilization of Vengeance

The Functions of Vengeance

Games of Vengeance

The Design of Vengeance

Conduits of Vengeance

The Contingency of Vengeance

Revenge Among Intimates



6 The Variability of Punishment

The Concept of Punishment

Existing Theories of Punishment

The Theories Extended



7 Compensation in Cross-Cultural Perspective

The Context of Compensation



No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1984
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Donald Black

Affiliations and Expertise

Center for Criminal Justice, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Ratings and Reviews