Essay on Control theory, Anomie theory and Strain theory

1444 Words6 Pages
Control theory, Anomie theory and Strain theory provide very different explanations of why people commit crimes based upon assumptions about how humans function. Control theory suggests that humans are naturally drawn to breaking the law. Humans are driven to fulfill their needs and desires. Crime provides one method by which humans can reach their goals. Control theorists would thus ask why everyone does not turn to crime to meet their wants and needs. The question shifts from the typical why do people commit crime to why do people not commit crime (Cullen and Agnew, 2011). Hirschi suggest that crime and social bonds are linked, such that crime occurs in absence of a strong social bond. The four elements of the social bonds are…show more content…
Though the offender still believes that crime in general is wrong, they will justify or excuse their crime as necessary, morally correct or otherwise acceptable. Offenders might suggest that their crime was acceptable because they are not responsible (“Denial of Responsibility”), no harm occurred (Denial of Injury), the victim deserved to be victimized (“Denial of Victim”), the authorities have it out for them (Condemnation of the Condemners) or there is a higher good served by their actions (“Appeal to Higher Loyalties”). The offender in all of these cases recognizes that their actions were deviant, but argue that it was justified (Sykes and Matza , 2011). Under these theories, humans are considered to naturally want to commit crime, but generally believe that crime is wrong. When they do offend, they consider their offense to be justified exceptions to their belief in the wrongness of crime, the result of a lack of self-control or social bond. Anomie theory posits that US society focus heavily upon monetary success, but places little emphasis upon how this success is obtained. Strain theory proposals a very similar concept, but focus upon smaller units within society. It argues that while everyone aims to reach the middle class standard of success, people in some groups will be unable to achieve it via legitimate channels. These theories suggest that people how commit crime are trying to accomplish the
Open Document