Essay on A General Theory of Crime

2143 Words Sep 4th, 2005 9 Pages
A General Theory of Crime
(Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi)

Term Paper
Soc 203
Prof. Ortiz
12th December 2002

Crime is a serious issue in the United States and research shows that it is running rampant, and its effects are felt in all socioeconomic levels. Each economic class has its own crime rates and types of crime. It is a mistake to think of crime as a lower class problem. Crime is a problem for all people. The lower classes commit crime for survival while the upper class commits crime to supplement capital and maintain control.
Research also highlight that middle class crime is the most popular while lower class neighborhoods are deteriorating. This paper will focus on "A General Theory of Crime" using
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Perhaps the surge in crime rates and offending within the lower class is based on weak social bonds and natural predispositions toward crime. These components act as social controls on deviant and criminal behavior. As they weaken, social control suffers and the likelihood of crime and deviance increase. Social bonds can be described as emotional attachments to family members or friends, obligation or attachment to a certain lifestyle, an involvement conventional values accepted by society and the belief and attachments in following social order and rules of society.
The most important element of the social bond is attachment such as affection and sensitivity to others. Attachment is said to be the basic element necessary for the internalization of values and norms. Commitment; the rational investment one has in conventional society and the risk one takes when engaging in deviant behavior. The third element is involvement in conventional activities; occupying one restricts opportunities for crime opportunities. Lastly, conventional moral values being neutralized with excuses so that one could commit crime without feeling guilty.
In attempting to understand crime, many theories are put out to offer a different perspective. Some theories instead of asking what drives people to commit crime, they ask why most people avoid committing crime. They focus on restraining factors that are

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