The General Theory Of Crime

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“Historically, criminologists have separately studied the pattern and causes of criminal offending and the pattern and causes of victimization” (Piquero et al., 2005, p.55). This began to change when criminologists recognized a strong relationship between offending and victimization. Scholars argue that this relationship can be explained by a common underlying trait of low self-control. Gottfredson and Hirschi first introduced low self-control as an explanation of offending in the General Theory of Crime, and more recent studies have applied the theory to victimization. In this paper, we will first discuss Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime as it applies to criminality. Then, we will review the literature to see how their…show more content…
They also tend to engage in “analogous criminal acts” such as smoking, drinking, gambling, irresponsible sex, and speeding in cars. In households where children are cared for and appropriately disciplined, those children develop the self-control needed, through socialization, to resist the easy temptations offered by crime. This early developmental process is key in setting the stage for later life. (McMurtry & Curling, 2008) Gottfredson and Hirschi strayed from Hirschi’s previous theory that social control protected people from participating in criminal activities in favor of the conception that self-control, or lack thereof, could be used to explain criminal behavior. According to the general theory of crime, crime occurs through the following process: (1) an impulsive personality to (2) lack of self-control to (3) the withering of social bonds to (4) the opportunity to commit crime and delinquency to (5) deviant behavior. Gottfredson and Hirschi suggest that those who engage in crime do so to obtain immediate gratification. People with a propensity for criminal involvement are said to lack self-control, or the ability to delay short-term desires. Theorists state that this lack of self-control can be traced back to early childhood when early indications of deviant behavior emerge. For those with low self-control, participation in deviant behavior continues
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