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Chapter 14

SOCI 225 Chapter 14: soci 225 Tbook14

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Learning Objectives
Upon the completion of this module you will be able to:
Explain the importance of the social bonds of attachment, involvement, commitment,
and belief in explaining the causation of delinquency and crime.
Discuss the role of the family, the school, and the church in the causation of delinquency
and crime.
Describe the criticisms that have been made of social control theories and discuss the
validity of these criticisms.
-As Lide states i the tetook, soial otrol theor assues that human beings are
either good or eil. Rather, e are or ith the apait to do rog 009, p. 97.
-However, this theory argues that people do not engage in criminal activity because they do
not want to jeopardize their bonds to conventional society
- that is, people do not commit crimes because they have built extremely strong bonds to
society (for example, bonds to education, family, work, friends, sports, and so forth).
-Social control theories also attempt to discover why people conform rather than why
people deviate from our norms, values and, ultimately, our laws.
-This is an important point because most, if not all, criminological theories other than social
control focus entirely on why people commit crimes.
-We know from statistics that far less than 1% of the population engages in criminal activity
as a way of life, and yet most theoretical perspectives focus on why this is the case rather
than on why 99% of us do not engage in criminal activity.
-Although social control theories help us to understand a great deal about criminal offending,
they are not without their criticisms.
1. First, it is argued that social control theory is not the best theory to explain white-
collar crime.
2. Second, it does not explain the motivation to engage in criminal activity.
3. Finally, social control theory has been criticized for being too individualistic, since it
fouses o a idiidual’s odig ith ad egageet i his or her ouit ad fail.
Hirshi’s “oial Bod Theor
a) Attachment is the degree to which a person has affective ties to other persons.
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