Theory Of Crime : The General Theory Of Crime

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For centuries, sociologists have struggled to find the answer to one of the most central question in criminology: Why individuals commit crimes. In the late 1900’s, two sociologists, Travis Hirschi and Michael Gottfredson, developed a theory pertaining to the question of why individuals commit criminal acts. The theory revolves around a person’s lack of self-control as the strongest influence in that person committing a crime at any point in their life. Since the theory has been proposed, it has received a wide range of acclaim, but also some criticism. In this paper, I argue that while the General Theory of Crime appears to be a theory with some merit, it does not emphasize how important an individual’s environment is when determining why they commit crimes and the frequency/severity in which they act.
As stated previously, Gottfredson and Hirschi created the General Theory of Crime which involves the level of self-control as the main indicator of individuals committing crimes. According to the sociologists, the sense of self-control comes directly from parental care. As described in the course textbook, the main cause of a child developing poor self-control is the inability of parents to teach their children self-control and not being be able to properly punish children when they exhibit a lack of self-control (Siegel 2017). This theory argues that parental care is essential to children learning the correct skills to be able to control their impulses. This theory states
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