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General theory of crime

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What elements comprise the social bond for Hirschi? How are ideas from the Chicago School relevant to this theory? What are examples of positive and negative reinforcement and punishment? What is the major difference between reinforcement and punishment? What is meant by life-course theory? How might this theory be used to better understand criminal behavior? What issues might rise when using this theory for this purpose?

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What elements comprise the social bond for Hirschi?

The four elements that comprise social bond are attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. These elements affect one's likelihood of conforming to, or deviating from, the norms of society. Attachment is the extent of bonds that a person has with others particularly those within their family, community, and job. Those with significant attachments are less likely to engage in criminal acts. Commitment is predicated upon someone who refrains from unlawful behavior because they are committed to their reputation or standing in the community. If someone has attachments to a community and is seen as an important figure, this person will be more committed to refraining from deviant or criminal behavior, because of the risks of losing the investment this person has made in previous conventional behavior (Sonoma. edu, 2012).

Involvement in work, family, the community, school boards, etc., takes away the opportunity for people to commit criminal acts, according to Hirschi, because they are engrossed in conventional activities. The opinions and impressions that are dependent on constant social reinforcement comprise belief. This is reinforced through the areas where people live and where children are raised (Sonoma. edu, 2012).

How are ideas from the Chicago School relevant to this theory?

The Chicago School theorized that crime could be explained by studying the traits of neighborhoods in relation to the city of Chicago. Chicago virtually became a metropolis overnight in the historical sense as its population went from 4,000 during inception to over 2 million in a short span of time. Within this metropolis, new arrivals moved to the slums, as those who were there before them moved to better neighborhoods. This disorganization of social structure and people constantly transitioning in and out of neighbourhoods plagued by poverty and caused heterogeneity-led researchers (at the University of Chicago) to believe that the key to understanding crime lay not ...

Solution Summary

The general theory of crime elements are examined. The elements which comprise the social bond for Hirschi is determined.