SOCIAL BONDING THEORY Essay

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Travis Hirschi presented a social bonding theory in 1969. The main idea of the social bonding theory is that each and every individual has a drive to act in selfish and even aggressive ways that might possibly lead to criminal behavior. Social bonding theory is somewhat have similarities with the Durkheim theory that “we are all animals, and thus naturally capable of committing criminal acts” (Tibbetts, 2012, p. 162). However, the stronger a person is bonded to the conventional society, for example, family, schools, communities, the less prone a person is to be involved in criminal activity. The great example of this would be the serial killer Nannie Doss. Since early age she did not have any bonds either to her family with an abusive father or to community she lived in. Most of the time during her childhood she was isolated from any social interactions with her schoolmates or friends.
Hirschi’s social bond consists of four elements:
1. Attachment
2. Commitment
3. Involvement
4. Moral belief
Attachment is a key element in the social bond, which consists of “affectionate bonds between an individual and his/her significant others” (Tibbetts, 2012, p. 163). For Hirschi, parents and schools are very important and critical elements of attachment. Those who form close attachments to their parents and schools usually experience greater levels of social control. For example, Nannie Doss did not have any attachments especially with her parents. Hirschi says, “the stronger the early attachments are, the probability of acting inappropriately decreases” (Tibbetts, 2012, p.163). Also, Nannie Doss did not have any social interactions with her friends or peers because her father did not allow her to attend school and have friends. Therefore, Nannie Doss did not have anybody whom she loved and who might have been disappointed by her misbehavior because there were no signs of attachment in her life.
The second type of bond is commitment. Hirschi believes that people are less likely to misbehave when they know that they have something to lose. This might mean not wanting to look bad in front of friends or parents for having committed a crime with such a consequence as to lose their love or respect. People might refrain from engaging in deviant...

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