Social Controls Essay

2978 Words May 25th, 2013 12 Pages
Critically evaluate the claim that it is social controls that prevent us all from committing crime.

This essay will thoroughly examine and evaluate the claim that it is social controls that prevent us from committing crimes by looking at different social control theories. Firstly we must determine what a social control theory consists of, according to Hopkins (2009) ‘social control theory is fundamentally derived from a conception of human nature that proposes that there are no natural limits on elementary human needs and desires. People will always want and seek further economic reward and it is thus not necessary to look for special motives for engaging in criminal activity. Human beings are born free to break the law and will only
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A person like this would have no social investments and will not feel the need to conform. People can aspire to be something in the future for example a doctor or police officer and this can again make them conform because they can see what they could have in the future and not want to lose it. Children from a young age should be put in schools because according to this theory they will have a lot to lose by not conforming.
Hirschi’s (1969) next element of bonding theory is involvement, which assumes people are simply too busy doing conventionally things and therefore do not have the time to engage in deviant behaviour. A person tied up doing conventional things such as going to school, working, meeting people, keeping appointments and things of that sort will not have the opportunity to commit deviant acts (cited in Cullen and Agnew 2006, p.223). The more involved people are in social activities the less likely they are to commit deviant acts as the thought of committing a deviant act will not be present because they are to busy. This shows that people need to stay busy and involved in society’s activities to not have the urge to commit deviant acts. An example of this would be children who drop out of school, these children will be more likely to commit a crime because they are not busy

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