Social Bond Theory

Decent Essays
Through the evolution of social bonds, individuals have always been under scrutiny to abide by a list of rules in order to be successful in their community. This ideology is made evident in the book, The Code of the Street, by Elijah Anderson. Anderson dissects and exposes the various issues dealing with families in urban minority communities. These families are labeled as “street” and “decent”. The connotation of the term “code of the street” is a set of accepted and understood set of rules in which “street” and “decent” families abide by in order to function in modern-day street society. These regulatory rules are known as a “code” because this term is not blatantly stated, but mutually understood by those living in these disadvantaged communities.…show more content…
Social bond theory explains the interrelation of social bonds that cause people to imitate their environment. This theory is made evident in Anderson’s research in Code of the Street. Hirschi’s social bond theory is comprised of four features: attachment, belief, commitment, and involvement. An individual with strong social bond connections to these philosophies of social bond theory is more likely to conduct themselves in a manner fitting the nature of their environment, i.e. abiding by the code of the street. These individuals become especially devoted to their environment and help ensure the maintenance of their urban community. In a scholarly article, written by Ronald O. Pitner et al., the authors conclude that crime and the perception of urban communities can lower the resident’s connection to their own community. Pitner and his associates conducted a questionnaire survey among seventy African Americans in various economic neighborhoods “assessing their community care and vigilance and perceptions of perceived social disorders” (Pitner et al. 2013). The prevailing sentiment of this research is in direct correlation with Hirschi’s social bond theory in that when weak social bonds are centralized around an attachment, the chance for criminal and social behaviors are greatly increased. Crime plays a…show more content…
Aker’s social learning theory is evident in Anderson’s research in Code of the Street. Aker explains that the social learning theory attributes learning criminal behavior through the engagement of peers. This theory can be practical in understanding the “code of the streets” of minorities in urban communities. Modern society has put a label on crime in that it is inappropriate and that people should not participate in it. However, those in disadvantaged communities who abide by the code of the street allow the denotation of crime to change in their attempts to survive in such conditions. Anderson states, “Children growing up in these circumstances learn early in life that this [criminal activities] is the way things are” (Anderson 134). This mindset is common to those in minority urban communities that portray the code of the street in terms of crime in the eyes of the
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