Q:

What is Hirschi's social control theory?

A:

Quick Answer

Travis Hirschi's social control theory of juvenile delinquency stated that delinquent behavior was caused by a lack of social attachments. Later, he modified his ideas and proposed the self-control theory of crime, which suggested that crimes were committed due to criminal opportunity and lack of self-control and that the degree of parenting a child received was the determining factor in whether or not he would commit crimes.

Know More
What is Hirschi's social control theory?
Credit: Darrin Klimek Digital Vision Getty Images

Full Answer

In 1969, Travis Hirschi put forth his social control theory in his book "Causes of Delinquency." He claimed that the absence of social bonds and lack of social interaction with parents, teachers, friends and others caused a decrease in acceptance of social norms and recognition of morals, exacerbating tendencies toward juvenile delinquency.

In 1990, Hirschi collaborated with Michael R. Gottfredson on the book "A General Theory of Crime," in which they proposed that a person's level of self-control stabilizes by the age of 8, depending on how he is reared as a child. This put a lot of responsibility of whether or not a child would eventually commit crimes on the parents. According to Hirschi and Gottfredson, a child reared in a stable environment would be far less likely to commit crimes than a child that was neglected or abused. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, these theories became very popular among criminologists in America, though they were also widely criticized as being inherently flawed.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is the social contract theory?

    A:

    Social contract theory is the belief that societies exist through a mutual contract between individuals, and the state exists to serve the will of the people. The origins of social contract theory come from Plato's writings.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are types of social control?

    A:

    Social control is a general term used to refer to the societal and political machinations employed to manage individual and group behaviors. Once effectively employed, social control provides conformity and compliance to the established rules or laws of a society.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is social control theory?

    A:

    Social control theory is the idea that people obey rules and follow laws because that is what is generally accepted by everyone else. People strive to uphold regulations, not because they necessarily agree with them, but because of the principles these decrees represent. Social control theory is commonly used in childhood psychology.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the theory of marginality?

    A:

    The theory of marginality in social economics, first coined in 1928 by Robert Park in his work "Human Migration and the Marginal Man," attempts to explain inconsistencies in the perceived value of individuals via reference to their social class or ethnicity, race or culture. Cultural marginality, for example, refers to the dilemmas of cross-cultural contact and assimilation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore