There are many theories in the field of criminology that seek to explain the reasons behind why people commit crimes. Social process theory is one such theory and asserts that criminal behavior is learned through interactions with others (Schmalleger, 2012). There are four types of social process theories including: social learning theory, social control theory, labeling theory, and dramaturgical perspective. This paper will explore two of the theories including social learning theory and social control theory. The paper will discuss social process theory and the history of its development, the theory’s importance to criminology, examples of
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
There are many perspectives in which one can analyze and understand why a person decides to commit a crime. Some perspectives are social learning theory, strain theory, classical and rational choice theory, deterrence theory, biological and psychological positivist theories, among others. However, for the purposes of this paper, the biological and psychological theories will be discussed.
This essay will outline how crime theories are able to assist in recognizing the causes of criminal activity, as well as demonstrating two criminological theories to two particular crimes. Overviews of trends, dimensions and victim/offenders characteristics of both crime groups will be specified. The two particular crimes that will be demonstrated throughout this essay are; Violent Crime (focusing on Assault) being linked with social learning theory and White Collar crime (focusing on terrorism) being linked to General Strain theory. In criminology, determining the motive of why people commit crimes is crucial. Over the years, many theories have been developed and they continue to be studied as criminologists pursue the best answers in eventually diminishing certain types of crime including assaults and terrorism, which will be focused on.
However, they still possess similar characteristics. For instance, policy implications of the two theories are found to overlap. One implication of social bonding theory is strengthening attachment and commitment should be combined with positive reinforcement, modeling, and learning prosocial attitudes and skills in school and family, which shows how social bonding theory overlaps with social learning theory by using the aspects of reinforcement and learning models and attitudes in conjunction with bonds. Social learning theory is also seen to lend support to social bonding theory by suggesting that the type of attachment matters; if a certain type of attachment is strong, there is more of a chance of someone imitating what he or she sees. Therefore, another implication is that by developing strong social bonds with family and schools during childhood, prepares an individual to learn prosocial skills, attitudes, and behaviors as well as helps that individual to avoid learning delinquent behaviors later on in life; this also highlights how the two theories overlap and are related. Moreover, to further illustrate, policy implications can be seen to be implemented in preventive and rehabilitative programs that use variables to positively change behavior such as curfews, after-school activities and programs, parenting classes, job placement programs, peer counseling and gang interventions. The idea behind some of these
Also known as Hirschi’s Social Bonds theory, suggests that individuals who are closely bonded to social groups within their society are less likely to engage in criminal or deviant behaviours. There are four features of this theory, 1) attachment, 2) commitment, 3) involvement and 4) belief (Hirschi, 1986).
This theory assumes that deviance results from when an individuals bond to society is broken or weak (Chriss, 2007). When an individual has strong bonds they are less likely to commit crimes. The theory suggests that the more attached a person is to people in a society the more they will believe in the values, and the more they invest in and are involved the less likely they are to deviate (Chriss, 2007). There are four main elements to the social bonding theory they are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. One of the best predictors of delinquency is the childs attachment to their parents, if there is less of an attachment they are more likely to partake in delinquent activities. The attachment is most important as the bonds people form with those around them help guide their lives, and all other elements are contingent on attachment. The content of beliefs also plays a crucial role as well through the idea that parent may be distant from a child who is about to commit a deviant act, and the parents could have been present when the temptation rises (Chriss, 2007). The child is not asking themselves what their parents may think because they do not have a bond sufficient enough with them to care. Where as children who do ask themselves this exhibit a stronger moral component of attachment, if they have the belief that their parents would not agree they are less likely to
Social Bonding Theory, subset Stake in Conformity, says if people have a commitment or a stake in conformity (being a part of society), then they are less likely to jeopardize that stake by being deviant and engaging in a violation of the law (Toby, 1957). The greater the endeavors that hold up an individual’s social standing such as conventional education and a person’s occupation, the less likely they are to forgo or abandon them for a nefarious criminal act (Toby, 1957). Gottfredson and Hirschi talk about how people will
as a general concept, social learning theory has been applied to the many different fields of social science to explain why certain individuals develop motivation to commit (or abstain from) crime and develop the skills to commit crime through the people they associate with. Social Learning Theory (SLT) is one of the most frequently looked at theories in the criminology field. This theory was introduced by Ronald L. Akers as a reformulation of Edwin H. Sutherland 's (1947) differential association theory of crime meld with principles of behavior psychology (Bradshaw, 2011). Akers retained the concepts of differential association and definitions from Sutherland 's theory, but conceptualized them in more behavioral terms and
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.
One strghtns is that this theory explains the onset of criminal activity. Many research points out that youth engage in cybercriminaly as a result of peer association. Additionally, many youth may engage online and offline in bulletin baoords, chat rooms and conferences that allowed them to form certain type or relationships and mainintain communication to increased their abilities and skills.Another streght is that Social Learning Theory holds is that it helps to explain how the individual’s social context influence the decisions that individuals may take. On the other hand, one weakness is that delinquent indivudlas may associate with other delinquent indivudlas in order to continue commiting crimes. For example, a delinquent juvenile with high experience in illegally downloading material may seek to associate with other delinquent inviduals. Another weakness is that the theory fails to distinguish how individuals accept criminal definitions as right when engaging in criminal activity. The final weakness is that it assumes that all individuals acquire the same social learning interaction and the same reaction to an action or
In 1969, Hirschi identified four social bonds, which were attachments, commitment, involvement, and belief. According to Hirschi (1969), these social bonds is what prevent the majority of people from engaging in illegal acts. Attachment is often defined as an emotional connection to other individuals such as parents, teachers, and friends. Hirschi’s second social bond is defined as commitment. This bond states that if an individual is dedicated and concerned about their investment in conventional activates they are less likely to engage in illegal acts (Hirschi, 1969). Furthermore, involvement is Hirschi’s third social bond that prevents individuals from engaging in illegal acts.
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.
Attachment is the most basic element of social bonds - it is the internalization of the norms and values of a society. More plainly speaking, attachment is the emotional bond an individual has to the society around them.The three basic forms of attachment are attachment to parents, peers and school. The strongs these attachments the less likely a juvenile is to engage in criminal activity. As Hirschi found, juveniles with strong attachments who are tempted to commit criminal behavior, will refrain from that behavior due to the negative consequences of that act. An juvenile with a strong emotional attachment to the people around them will not act upon criminal behavior that might harm those people or put their relationship
Many people have different theories as to why crime exists. Some believe crime happens because of the individual’s culture, education (or lack there of), or even their race. Others believe crime is associated with whom we surround ourselves with. There are three sociological theories that suggest why crime happens in society; they are social learning theory, social control theory, and social reaction (labeling) theory. These theories suggest it is our relationships and social interactions that influence our behavior.