Crime Theories: Strain Theory, Social Bond Theory, and Differential-Association Theory

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Criminologists are scientists who study crime. In order to do this they attempt to use the scientific method whenever possible. In the scientific method an individual first puts through a hypothesis to explain why something happens or even why something is. In the case of criminology the main question being asked is “why does crime occur?”, but some theories also attempt to answer another equally interesting question “if being a criminal is the easy choice, why are so many people law abiding?” in order to understand criminal behavior. In order for a hypothesis to be moved forward into the category of a theory it must first be tested, and those tests must be able to be reconfirmed. In the case of criminology most of this testing is…show more content…
These retreatists will include addicts, homeless and those who commit suicide. These individuals “have withdrawn from society mentally, socially, or both” (Eve, Segal, and Stevens, Ch. 6 Sec. 4). The last truly deviant adaptation is the rebel. This individual not only gives up on the cultural goal and creates a new goal, but also gives up on legal means of meeting the new goal. Examples of rebels are eco-terrorist organizations, cult religions and white supremacist groups. One last adaptation is the ritualist. This individual has accepted the fact that the cultural goal is unobtainable, but still tries to reach the goal through legal channels. “This isn’t really a deviant adaptation to strain. In fact, we are more likely to see it as a sad situation -- as someone who has given up hope, but isn’t breaking the law” (Lycan, Lecture W-4). This theory is supported by the statistics of inner city poverty in which individuals are likely to experience strain in large numbers. This theory supports policies that create opportunities for all individuals such as access to education and good paying jobs. Hirschi’s theory of social bond, sometimes referred to as control theory is different from the other theories in criminology because it assumes that people would be deviant when left to their own devices and looks to discover why the individual chooses to stay within the social confines of the law when illegal methods would be more beneficial. The social bond theory
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