Crime And The Social Process Essay

795 words - 3 pages

Criminologists have attempted with several studies to explain how crime can be viewed as a social process. Two important theories have shown ways in which crime can be viewed as a social process. These theories are the general strain theory and the Social Control theory. Although being a criminal is not accepted as part of the social norm, factors in society can lead to delinquent behavior. Travis Hirschi, criminologist and author of Causes of Delinquency (1969) can up with the social bond theory which is a control theory. With this theory, it is assumed that everyone will not be able to abide by all the laws all day, but it is kept under control because of the fear of it becoming known to those that they have a relationship with. The law violators do not want their illegal activity to damage their relationships (Siegal 156). Most people that tend to continue illegal acts do not have social bonds or people that would be affected by the offenders? actions. Therefore, delinquent acts will be a result when an individuals bond is weak in a society (Jacoby 294). Hirschi describes four main elements that affect the social bond.The first element is Attachment, which refers t a person?s attachment to others (Siegal 156). Important social institutions are necessary for a person to have a healthy bond. Without attachment characteristics such as insensitivity, anger and the lack of conscience arise leading to psychopathic behavior (Jacoby 295). The second element is Commitment, which involves the time, energy and effort put into conventional actions (Siegal 156). When a person has commitment, he considers the costs of deviant behavior, and the consequences before he acts (Jacoby 296). Hirschi describes this element as an act of ?Common Sense?. A person that puts a lot of time and energy into something is not going to jeopardize their position or their reputation by committing a criminal act.The third element is Involvement. Heavy involvements in conventional activities leave very little time for illegal behavior (Siegal 157). The concept of involvement is a deterrent to delinquency (Jacoby 297). Those who engage in deviant acts are not provided many conventional activities to fulfill their recreational interests (Jacoby 297); they have to much time to do nothing. The last element is Belief. This element associates with community values and morale such as respect, honesty and responsibility. If beliefs are absent,...

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