Analysis Of Travis Hirschi's Social Control Theory

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My plane had a delay at the airport, but I decided to go to the coffee shop to wait it out. While at the coffee shop, I got a table next to a group of men. To my surprise, I came to realize that these men were famous criminologists. Travis Hirschi, Ron Akers, Robert Agnew, and Robert Sampson were discussing their reasons why there is a high violent crime rate in Chicago. Since I could overhear the conversation, I can lay out the dialogue exchange among these men. Most importantly the reasoning, assumptions, empirical validity, weaknesses, and policy implications of each theory.
Firstly, Travis Hirschi’s Social Control Theory can explain the high crime rates in Chicago. This theory revolved around the notion that social bonds between individual’s
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However, defining how to measure attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief has been challenging. According to Criminological Theory: A Brief Introduction, Hirschi used the work of Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck and F. Ivan Nye to create measurements to test his theory (147). Through the results that he generated, Hirschi backed up his claim that individuals who have no or weak social bonds are predisposed to commit deviant actions. Nevertheless, Social Control Theory has weaknesses as well that render it useless and allow other viewpoints to triumph. Criminological Theory: A Brief Introduction essentially states that the four elements of the social bond make the theory slightly parsimonious but most research was only performed on juveniles and young adults, no one else. Also, the research that gets conducted normally is only generated from low-level street crime and receives modest empirical support (148-148). With these obvious weaknesses, other criminologists can refute Hirschi’s claims with a theory of their …show more content…
General Strain Theory has been tested a lot to see if generates any empirical validity. It has been very successful in acquiring consistent data. Though General Strain Theory has a numerous amount of strengths, it does have a flaw. According to Criminological Theory: A Brief Introduction, Agnew’s “three sources of strain noted earlier have only a limited ability to predict who will offend and who will not” (132). This means that the theory is not very parsimonious. Though Agnew can contribute the rise of crime rates to a strain in one’s life, he neglects other factors that lead individuals to perform deviant

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