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Hirschi's Social Bond Theory and Crime

First, discuss the different elements of Travis Hirschi's Social Bond Theory.
Secondly, identify factors that affect each of these 'Key Bonds' (Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, and Belief). For example, for Attachment, describe the importance of family and social group members who transmit either anti/pro-social behavior.
Finally, explain how those bonds improve either resistance or acceptance of law violating behavior.

Travis Hirschi presented four social bonds, which promote socialization and conformity: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief.

Attachment corresponds to the affective ties which the youth forms to significant others" These significant ties are often found in the family environment when parents act as role models by teaching their children what is and is not socially acceptable behavior. Also attachment in Causes of Delinquency he uses psychopathy to really help the reader understand how the term should be interpreted. Most people would say that the characteristics of the psychopath come as a result of his lack of attachment, or that his lack of attachment comes as a result of his psychopathy. Attachment to others is to be free from moral restraints and means that you have no conscience or superego. If you subscribe to that train of thought then lack of attachment to others is the same thing as lack of conscience. In this view lack of attachment to others is not merely a symptom of psychopathy it is psychopathy.

Commitment is related to the aspiration of going to school and attaining a high-status job. The commitment to studying and working hard to reach these goals is considered an investment and the individual puts their investment at risk if they partake in delinquent behavior. According to this theory, youths with well-defined goals are much less likely to engage in delinquent behavior than those who are not looking towards the future. Commitment is directly correlated to conformity. He said that men have been known to obey the rules for no other reason than because they were afraid of facing the consequences. He said that we label the rational component of conformity as commitment and that people who follow the rules out of fear of the consequences are committed to conformity, thus much less likely to behave delinquently.

Involvement is the third of the four elements in the social bond. Involvement is plain and simple; if somebody spends a great deal of time doing conventional things then they will not have time to engage in delinquent behavior. Somebody that is extensively involved in conventional activities is, tied to appointments, deadlines, working hours, plans, and the like, so the opportunity to commit deviant acts rarely arises. This is when we start to see the connection between the elements of the social bond. For example, if you are committed as a high school student to getting in to a prestigious college so you can eventually graduate and get a high-paying job there is no way to fulfill your commitment without extensive involvement.

Belief is the acceptance of the moral validity of the central social-value system. The more rule-bound people feel, the less likely they are to commit a crime or violate those rules Due to socialization everyone, including deviants, recognized the validity of one dominant set of values. The difference between those deviants and the rest of us is that even though they recognize the same set of values they do not feel bound by them due to their lack of belief or weakened social bond. This element brings an interesting question to light. If we all recognize the same set of values, how can someone believe it is wrong to commit a crime while he is committing a crime? According to control theory there is two ways deviants get around the rules. One way is by giving no real meaning to their beliefs and considering them to be nothing more than words. The other way is through neutralization. This entails the deviant essentially justifying the act to them before it occurs so they can violate the rule and maintains their belief in it at the same time.

Velmer Burton, Francis Cullen, T. David Evans, R.Gregory Dunaway, Sesha Kethineni, and Gary Payne," The impact of Partial Controls on Delinquency," Journal of Criminal Justice.
Michael Hindelang,"Causes of Delinquency: A partial Replica and Extension," Social Problems.

After you've completed the reading, please write a 300-word reflection on the topic and what you've learned from sampling.

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Social Process Theories: Socialized to Crime

First, discuss the different elements of Travis Hirschi's Social Bond Theory.
Secondly, identify factors that affect each of these 'Key Bonds' (Attachment, Commitment, Involvement, and Belief). For example, for Attachment, describe the importance of family and social group members who transmit either anti/pro-social behavior.
Finally, explain how those bonds improve either resistance or acceptance of law violating behavior.

Hirschi's Social Bond Theory is predicated upon a belief that the bonds people form with family, friends, and other ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses Hirschi's Social Bond Theory and the importance of social group members who transmit anti/pro-social behavior.

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