Tim Hirschi’s Social Control Theory in Crime and Punishment in Suburbia

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Tim Hirschi’s Social Control Theory in Crime and Punishment in Suburbia

Over the past few decades criminologists and sociologists have developed several theories in an effort to try and explain what causes some human beings to commit crimes. One of the most well-known theories that tries to explain why criminals commit crimes is called the social control or social bond theory developed by a theorist named Travis Hirschi. Hirschi also wanted to figure out why people don’t commit crimes instead of just figuring out why they do and he tried his best to answer those questions using his social control theory.The social control theory developed by Mr. Hirschi states that a person who has bonds with family, friends, the community, or
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She had no one to confide in about the sexual abuse so she felt she had to take matters into her own hands and deal with her stepfather on her own. The attachment part of the control theory seems to be valid because if Rosanna had an attachment bond with her mother or a close friend she would have most likely shared her feelings about the sexual assault with them which may have prevented her from murdering her stepfather. The second type of bond that Hirschi believes is necessary for an individual to have in their life is commitment. Hirschi believes that in order for a person not to get involved in criminal activity they must have commitment to long term goals such as getting an education and career. (Hirschi, 1969, p. 34) Hirschi stated “The higher the student’s educational aspirations…the less likely he is to commit delinquent acts.” (Hirschi, 1969, p. 171) According to several studies that were completed in 1967, students who stated that they wanted to go to college in the future are said to have high commitment and those who stated they did not want to go college are said to have low commitment. (Wiatrowski, 1978, p. 73) Hirschi feels that commitment is necessary to keep people from committing criminal acts because if a person is striving towards a goal they feel that they have a purpose in life and are going to accomplish great things in their lifetime.

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