• Journal Article

What's Class Got to Do with It? A Further Examination of Power-Control Theory

Citation

Jensen, G. F., & Thompson, K. (1990). What's Class Got to Do with It? A Further Examination of Power-Control Theory. American Journal of Sociology (AJS), 95(4), 1009-1023.

Abstract

In recent issues of this journal, J. Hagan, A. R. Gillis, and J. Simpson elaborate a power- control theory of common deliquency. They propose a positive relationship between neo-Marxist conceptions of class and common forms of delinquency, patterns of variation in gender differences by class, and intervening variables to explain these variations. An examination of class, gender, and delinquency in three U.S. data sets did not reveal the same patterns. A neo- Marxist categorization of the labor force was generally unrelated to common delinquency, and there was no evidence of paterned class-gender variations of the sort reported in their 1985 analysis. Gender differences by race were consistent with their theory, while racial differences were not. Moreover, an attempted reconstruction of data for the full set of household categories reported in the 1987 analysis raises important questions about the nature of class variations and the role of patriarchal imbalance in generating gender differences