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Social Control Theory and Other Criminology Theories

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Christopher Gardner was rendered jobless and homeless at the age of 30 in 1981.
With his baby son, Gardner moved from shelter to shelter in San Francisco as he tried to find a job. Gardner eventually managed to get the job of a trainee at a stock-brokerage firm. Through his determination and grit, he managed to rise all the way up and finally own the successful brokerage firm, Gardner Rich, which he founded in 1987.

Research more on Gardner's life whether an individual's environment should be used as an excuse for the individual's positive or negative behaviors in life.

•How might a social control theorist respond to the idea that a person's environment should not be used as an excuse for poor behavior? Why?
•What kind of information about Gardner's background would a social control theorist require in order to be fully informed about Gardner's environment and to explain how he improved his life? Why?
•Can the environment of individuals impact the likelihood that they would be able to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps and succeed in a conventional lifestyle?" How?
•If Gardner, frustrated with his life, had taken up a career of crime, which criminological theories could have been utilized to defend his actions?
•What social control mechanisms might Gardner have encountered in his early life that could have aided his behavior later in life?

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Solution Preview

A social control theorist would respond that the environment of the person's current situation may have some effect. However, the ability of the person to make decisions based on socially acceptable right and wrong that will help them make the right, legal choices. In this case, the background of Gardner, his upbringing will be the deciding factor. He was 30 when the problems started. Prior to this, he most likely had learned the social acceptance of things that were right and those that were wrong. Although his homelessness put him in environments and situations that were less than favorable, he still knew the value of doing the right thing as ...

Solution Summary

This solution of 400 words analyses Gardener's life and the theory that an individual's environment should be used as an excuse for the positive and negative behaviors in life. It provides a perspective from a social control theorist position and a review of criminology theories including social control. All references used are included.