Social Bonds and Deviance Goes Against the Norm

2006 Words9 Pages
Social Bonds and Deviance
Deviance is a term used to describe behavior that goes against the established social and cultural norms. The concept of deviance is complex because norms vary considerably across groups, times, and places. Essentially, individuals commit deviant behavior when society defines it as such. Within the field of criminology, a number of theories exist that attempt to explain why some people engage in deviant behavior, while others abstain from it. One of these theories is Travis Hirschi’s, social bond theory, which eventually becomes the blueprint for subsequent control theories. This paper will analyze aspects of social control theory and social bonds, for the purpose of seeing if they can deter deviant behavior.
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In other words, according to Thornberry’s interactional theory, the absence or weakening of social control is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for delinquent involvement (Cartwright, 2011, p. 229). Laub and Sampson’s turning points theory was also rooted in Durkheim’s views, Hirschi’s social bond theory and Thornberry’s interactional theory. Laub and Sampson’s theory concluded that some social events may change delinquents from a path of crime and this event is called a turning point. Closer to the present time, Bouffard and Petkovsek conducted a study which explores the process through which social bonds work to restrain offending criminal behavior. This was primarily based on Hirschi’s social bonding theory and looks at the decision to drive drunk. All of the above mentioned theorists are intricately connected through their theories, which are based on some aspect of their respective predecessors, and their view that all individuals are bonded to society.
Hirschi’s, social bond theory, looks at how delinquency is the result of weak or broken bonds between the individual and society. He states that there are four aspects of the bond, and their relationship between each other, that affect our connection to society (Cartwright, 2011). These four are: attachment, commitment, involvement in conventional activities, and lastly belief in wider social values. Hirschi defines attachment to others as the degree to which we admire

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