April 11, 2011
MWF 10-10:50 am
Chapter 6 Summary
The Complexity of Control
Chapter 6 is focused on Travis Hirchi and two of his theories. Hirchi dominated the control theory for forty years. There are three considerations that nourished the appeal of his thinking which were:
1. His theories were stated were as parsimoniously.
2. He is combative and controversial.
3. His theories were ideal to test empirically (scientific data).
His first theory was Social Bonds and Delinquency. According to Hirchi, delinquency arises when social bonds are weak or absent and says that the main thing that separates offenders from non-offenders are the factors that restrain people from acting on their wayward impulses. He also stated that social binds are the social controls that regulate when crime occurs. When Hirchi began to describe his social bond theory of delinquency, he set it up in three columns, social bond, nature of the social bond and the nature of social control: why don’t they do it? The first social bond is attachment, which is the emotional closeness that youths have with adults. The second social bond is commitment which involves youths’ stake in conformity. The third social bond is involvement which is another way of proposing that denial of access to criminal opportunities makes delinquency less likely. The fourth and final social bond is belief which is an embrace of moral validity of the law and other conventional norms such as the rules in school.
When it came to Hirchi’s second theory, which was the theory of self-control he teamed up with Michael Gottfredson. This theory stated that self-control is the restraint that allows people to resist crime and other short-term gratification.