Support for this research was provided by National Science Foundation, Law and Social Sciences Division, grant SES-9121856, and by the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oklahoma. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their insights and suggestions.
REDUCTION IN DRUNK DRIVING AS A RESPONSE TO INCREASED THREATS OF SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT, AND LEGAL SANCTIONS*
Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
Volume 31, Issue 1, pages 41–67, February 1993
How to Cite
GRASMICK, H. G., BURSIK, R. J. and ARNEKLEV, B. J. (1993), REDUCTION IN DRUNK DRIVING AS A RESPONSE TO INCREASED THREATS OF SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT, AND LEGAL SANCTIONS. Criminology, 31: 41–67. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1993.tb01121.x
Harold G. Grasmick is Professor of Sociology at the Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Social Control, University of Oklahoma. He has been actively involved in research on deterrence theory, attempting to bridge the gap between economists and sociologists. This paper is an extension of an article (with Bursik) published in Law und Society Review in 1990.
Robert J. Bursik, Jr., is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and Social Control, University of Oklahoma. Most of his work has focused on the role of neighborhoods and their informal control systems. He has an ongoing interest in the degree to which criminal activity reflects the processes of behavioral decision making.
Bruce J. Arneklev is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include the efficacy of various mechanisms of social control, including the idea of self-control recently emphasized by Gottfredson and Hirschi.
- Issue online: 7 MAR 2006
- Version of Record online: 7 MAR 2006
In a recent paper we proposed a strategy for incorporating threats of shame and embarrassment, along with the threat of legal sanctions, into a rational choice perspective on illegal behavior. In this paper we use that approach in an attempt to account for a reduction in self-reported drunk driving observed in a community between identical surveys conducted in 1982 and 1990. The interval between the two surveys was a period of intense legislative activity and moral crusading at the national and local levels. Our analysis indicates that the reduction in self-reported drunk driving in the community is primarily attributable to an increase in the threat of shame for this offense.