Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Justice Studies

First Advisor

Scott A. Hunt

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Abstract

Since the 1950s social control has mostly been explained from the counteraction of deviance perspective. In this research I examine social control in a broader context, what I call social control as the furtherance of action perspective. In order to accomplish this, I conducted a digital ethnography with a group engaged in deviant behavior. The group has no formal name, but individuals are known by the deviant act they engage in. The act is referred to as "capping", but is best explained as individuals or a group of individuals making screen recordings of live web cam feeds from websites designed to allow interaction through a webcam/chat room interface. These screen recordings are then converted into various video formats and used by the community of cappers in numerous ways. The content of these recorded videos is sexual in nature and often times involves females between the ages of 13-24 years of age. In order to conduct this research I observed interactions in a public capper chat room, conducted in depth interviews with individuals connected to the capping world and analyzed postings and documents related to a capping message board. From my research I was able to determine an extensive network of social control present among this deviant group. Additionally, this was the first time the capping phenomenon has been researched and light was shined upon this group.

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