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Lecture

Control Theories

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 222
Professor
Owen Gallupe
Semester
Winter

Description
Control Theories – Thursday, February 13, 2014 Basic Assumptions of Control Theories ­ Everyone is equally motivated to engage in criminal/delinquent behaviour ­ Key question – why don’t people engage in criminal/delinquent behaviour? o Because they are controlled in some way Hirschi’s Social Control/Social Bond Theory ­ Travis Hirschi (1969) – one of the most influential criminological theories ­ People who are strongly bonded to conventional society will not engage in delinquent behaviour as  they have too much to lose – more likely for conformity o Not having strong bonds frees people to engage in delinquency Four main elements that make up the social bond – elements are interrelated 1. Attachment ­ People who have strong attachments care what others think about them ­ Attachment and Peers • Hirschi argues that strong attachments to anyone reduces delinquency, including peers – BUT  what about delinquent peers? • Strong attachments despite delinquent peers, honoring those we admire not by imitation but  by adherence to conventional standards • Skeptical in capacity of delinquents to form relationships at all – social disability 2. Commitment ­ Refers to a person’s “stake in conformity” ­ People who are more committed to conventional pursuits are less likely to engage in delinquency 3. Involvement  ­ Time spent in conventional (nondelinquent) pursuits – i.e. sports, extra­curricular activities ­ “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” 4. Belief ­  “The belief that laws and society’s rules in general are morally correct and should be obeyed” ­ If you believe delinquency is wrong, you are less likely to do it Empirical Status ­ Strong support that delinquency is reduced by: o Attachment to parents o Attachment to school o Commitment to long­term goals o Belief that breaking the law is wrong ­ Involvement is ambiguous  ▯hard to be occupied all the time at high levels of involvement  Low Self­Control ­ “General Theory of Crime” written by Gotffredson and Hirschi (1990) ­ Claims low self­control = THE 
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