After reading the article “The Meaning of Social Control” by Peter Berger I agree that social control is present in our daily lives trying to get people to conform in different situations. There are several different kinds of social control from violence, to gossip to even being shunned from a community. In the article it even states, that social control “...refers to the various means used by a society to bring its recalcitrant members back into line. No society can exist without social control (Berger 1).” This quote means without social control people wouldn’t be able to conform to any specific situation which can lead to a lot of issues. Even though conformity in general is perceived as a bad thing it can also be used for good. Like the example given when a police officer gives a person a ticket it teaches the person to not speed or they would get into trouble.
Social control is necessary because when there is lack thereof, there is also no societal order. Social control is used by those with power, money, and influence; there are many different levels and forms. Our parents exercise social control on us from birth in order to raise a person that can thrive in a controlled society. They may ground us if we stay out too late on a school night to reinforce responsibility, or instead of using negative reinforcement, they may use positive approaches. Such as acts of love and kindness in hopes that one day, you will replicate similar behaviors. A more formal example of social control is the espionage and spying that the National Security Agency has been carrying out on innocent Americans.
In 1969, a man named Travis Hirschi wrote and proposed something called the Social Control Theory. This theory can be applied in numerous kinds of ways when trying to address and solved social problems dealing with adolescents delinquent behavior. Before we can try to apply the Social Bond Theory, we must first understand the components and definition of the theory. Once we have a firm grasp of the theory, we can then look into our own lives and programs within our communities, to possibly provide support to strengthen the validity of the Social Bond Theory.
From a sociological perspective the reason for why an adolescent is involved in delinquent behavior is because they lack the attachment to the parents. Certainly, Hirschi theory involves other three components to social theory and of course they play a role towards the delinquent behavior. An adolescent just doesn’t act upon a delinquent behavior without having any reason to it. As a child grows up mostly all parents help aid their child to follow into a good path. Not everyone is so fortunate to be given that help. Some children lack the guidance to behave in a positive way. Not having someone to guide them in way to do good in school and life can have certain consequences like being involved in delinquent behavior. They would think that no one cares in what their involved. At the same time they may be around peers that are not a good influence on them. Not to mention, adolescents go through a phase where they intend to misbehave. This certainly, contributes to them getting involved in delinquent behavior. Teens are usually hanging out together with friends and at time get peer pressure to do stuff that isn’t good. If, they have someone to guide them in the direction in not being involved in that type of activity is good both for the parent and child.
Social control theory is used to help one understand and reduce levels of criminal activity. It is based upon the idea that an individual’s basic belief system, morals, values, commitments and relationships foster a lawful environment. Most individuals who possess these values and beliefs tend to have a level of self-control over their actions and are consequently prepared to remain on the correct side of the law. Furthermore, social control theory is used to examine how society can influence criminal behaviour. It also emphasizes the idea that when an individual is involved and in-touch with their community, they are less likely to commit acts of delinquency.
Rational choice theory and social control theory both show why an individual may commit a criminal act, but they both also draw criticism of their approach. Rational choice theory critics point out that “The first problem with the theory has to do with explaining collective action. That is, if individuals simply base their actions on calculations of personal profit, why would they ever choose to do something that will benefit others more than themselves?” (Crossman, 2015). The theory focuses only on the individual’s mindset and doesn’t take into account any of their social structure. The society an individual grows up in may make them more prone to commit crime. Social control theory, in particular the study conducted by Travis Hirschi, also
Hirschi’s social bond theory differs from his self control theory, as his social bond theory has to do with external factors rather than internal. Social bond theory sees the social control factor as fluid, whereas self-control theory sees it as stagnant. Self control theory has to do with the individual, and their internal beliefs which are “cemented” in their upbringing. Social bond theory sees beliefs as fluid, based on the interactions that occur over an individuals lifespan. The two theories basically see crime as an internal vs external factor, stemming from the individual’s experiences.
There are several criminological theories in play based on a variety of perspectives as to the causes of criminal behavior. For this assignment, I have chosen to address the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and how it coincides with Travis Hirschi’s Social Control Theory. Based on the elements in Hirschi’s Social Control Theory I will discuss how the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is beneficial in deterring the youths of today from participating in deviant behavior and becoming the criminals of tomorrow. To better the comprehension of their coexistence, I will first discuss the elements of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the Social Control Theory individually and then combine their individual elements to explain how they can effectively work together to deter crime.
Social control theory is critical to criminology because of the strength and impacts a relationship or bond between people have. These relationships are influenced and shaped by behavior, personality and the environment they choose to surround themselves in. Direct social control is important for children, having a healthy family relationship and role models create a balance with social control. If a society works together to create positive support for each other it helps control the crime that is once influenced by negative activities and poor role models.
Control Theory is the theory of support. This theory demonstrates an individual's social bonds in relation to their performance. Since certain bonds are stronger in certain kinds of lifestyles the affects will be different in all situations. Control theorists believe “in the rationality of the criminal act that the individual behaves in a criminal manner for ordinary reasons, and this behavior arises out of the person’s own free will” (Moyer, 2001, 133). However, deviant behavior is prevalent in today’s society. It is a major problem concerning adolescents all across the world. This theory carries serious paternalistic roles.
Social control/bond theory was developed by Travis Hirschi in1969. The social control approach is one of the three major sociological perspectives in understanding crime in our contemporary criminology. The theory holds that individuals will break the law as a result of the breakdown of the social bonds (Akers & Sellers, 2004, p. 16). Control theorists believe that an individual conformity to societal social values and rules produced by socialization and maintained through social ties to the people and institutions. The social bond may include family attachment, an individual commitment to social norms or institutions like school, employment, churches and mosques. The key elements of the social bonds theory are an attachment to other individuals in the society and the desire to remain committed to following rules. In addition, an individual involvement in typical social behaviours as well as one 's belief or the value systems a person ascribes. According to the theory, crime and delinquency will result when a person bond to society is weak or lose (Demuth & Brown, 2004, p.65). Moreover, as social bonds increase in strength, individual costs of crime increases as well and this ultimately act as a barrier for committing a crime.
Social process theories contend that criminal behavior is a function of a socialization process. Offenders may turn to crime as a result of peer-group pressure, family problems, poor school performance, legal entanglements, and other situations that gradually steer them to criminal behavior. Sykes and Matza (1957) and Matza (1964) view the process of delinquent youths becoming criminals as a matter of neutralizing their personal values and attitudes as they drift between conventional behavior and illegitimate behavior. Classical control theorists would argue that people do not commit crimes such as murder because of their fear of punishment. Punishment, they believe, can serve as a deterrent to committing crimes. Hirschi found that youths who appeared to be closely attached to their parents were less likely to commit crimes. In
Human behavior varies widely in the presence of different individuals and settings. This is due largely to the fact that people are under the control of the fluctuating rules within particular settings and a person’s inclination to follow them. During the fall semester of my freshman year, I was in two organizations; Bonner Community Scholars and Phi Mu Alpha, a music fraternity. I spent a lot of time with the other students in Bonner and I noticed that many of us had similar hobbies and world views, whereas I only saw my fraternal brothers at meetings. Inevitably, I decided to stay with Bonner and leave the fraternity. I believe that this can be explained by observing the Principle of Social Control, which states that an abundance of interconnected
According to Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi theory crime is the result of individual with low self-control encountering situation or opportunist in which crime will produce immediate gratification with relatively low. Level of risk. The view crime as so simple however, that opportunities are abundant, propelling anyone with low self-control into a crime. Self -controls said to be taught in early childhood, implying that parental discipline and management are the only factor in explaining delinquent and adult criminal offending parent can instill self-control in their children by monitoring the child is behavior and recognizing and punishing misbehavior when it occurs failure to do this will result in low
Similarly, another case in which social control is interpreted as a response to ethnical conflict occurred in Rwanda, a country located in East Africa. According to international law specialist John Quigley, Rwanda was “probably the most concentrated mass killings ever seen” (Jones 2011 Page 346). In twelve weeks, approximately one million Tutsi, and tens of thousands of Hutus were murdered. About 80 percent of victims were caught in the “hurricane of death” between the second week of April and the third week of May. Gerard Pruiner notes that “if we consider that probably around 800,000 people were slaughtered during this short period… the daily killing rate was at least 5 times that of the Nazi Death Camps” (Jones, 2011 Page 346).