Social Control Theory, And Cultural Deviance Theory Essay

3077 Words Apr 22nd, 2015 13 Pages
Social Control Theory is one of the most widely accepted theories for explaining criminal behavior and delinquency. Being first titled social control theory by “Travis Hirschi in his 1969 book, Causes of Deliquency.” (Costello, 2010) Social control theory has had the influence from earlier criminologists like Hobbes, Bentham and Beccaria where they stated that basically every individual’s human nature is selfish (Costello, 2010) and due to that selfishness people will usually commit delinquent acts in order to fulfill their self-interests. Most theories focus on that selfishness, for why people commit crime whereas social control theory tends to reject the normal question of why do people commit crime. Instead the fundamental question then becomes according to Hirschi is “Why don’t we do it?” (Hirschi, 1969) By asking this question Social Control Theory started an uproar in 1969 because it was ultimately the competition to the other theories of this time period which included “strain theory, and cultural deviance theory.”
(Costello, 2010) To answer the question “Why don’t we do it?” Hirschi states (1969):
That people who are highly socially integrated, or have a strong bond to society, are less willing than those with a weaker bond to risk the negative consequences that might follow criminal behavior. The most important of these negative consequences for control theory are informal punishments rather than the formal punishments that are meted out by the criminal justice…

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