Control Theories. Fundamentals of Control Theory The Issue: Why are most people not deviant? Hirschi’s views on society and human nature: –Humans are.
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Presentation on theme: "Control Theories. Fundamentals of Control Theory The Issue: Why are most people not deviant? Hirschi’s views on society and human nature: –Humans are."— Presentation transcript:
Fundamentals of Control Theory The Issue: Why are most people not deviant? Hirschi’s views on society and human nature: –Humans are “naturally-motivated offenders.” –Society is built on consensus on “rules”; in social settings, people give up their “human nature.” Hirschi on the nature of crime and deviance –It’s solitary. –It’s self-interested. –It’s opportunistic. –It’s easy.
Social Control Theory (original version): The “Bonds” Bonds that encourage conformity: –Attachment –Commitment –Involvement –Belief Bonds have independent and additive effects, but “belief” is probably the strongest.
Self Control Theory: An Update of Control Theory (Hirschi and Gottfredson) SCT is a “general theory of crime.” Crime per SCT has six elements: –Immediate gratification –Satisfies simple needs (like monetary) –Provides excitement –Provides few long-term benefits –Requires little skill –Causes its victims pain
Self Control Theory (cont.) Causes of low self control: –Lack of nurturance in infancy and early childhood –“Poor child monitoring,” ie, lack of discipline –Dysfunctional family structures, eg, big families, single-parent households Crime prevention starts at home.
Empirical Support for Control Theories Studies in schools suggest that bonds (commitment and involvement) to conventional activities do prevent delinquency. Studies of prisoners support SCT: Robbers are impulsive and self-centred, not “rational.”
Criticisms of Control Theories Unsupported basic assumptions Avoidance of situational/structural factors (aside from families) Bizarre arguments regarding “at-risk” persons Reliance on self-reports Tautology: the result of low self-control is also operationalized as an indicator of low self-control: Being deviant makes one deviant.