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Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective$
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Michael Donnelly and Murray Straus

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300085471

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300085471.001.0001

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Corporal Punishment and Black's Theory of Social Control

Corporal Punishment and Black's Theory of Social Control

(p.277) 19 Corporal Punishment and Black's Theory of Social Control
Corporal Punishment of Children in Theoretical Perspective

James Tucker

Susan Ross

Yale University Press

This chapter extends Donald Black's general theory of social control to the corporal punishment of children. Consistent with a Blackian approach, this chapter seeks to explain violent parental social control with the immediate structural context under which it occurs. Specifically, it is argued here that the likelihood of corporal punishment varies directly with family hierarchy, social distance between parents and children, and isolation of children from potential supporters outside the household. This chapter also describes the central features of corporal punishment as a means of social control and introduces several propositions, drawn from the work of Black and others, that address the relationship between family structure and parental violence against children. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how this approach compares to other theories of corporal punishment and a comment on how this chapter's propositions might be tested.

Keywords:   social control, Donald Black, Blackian approach, parental social control, structural context, parental violence

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