Control Theory

Topics: Sociology, Social control theory, Criminology Pages: 4 (1214 words) Published: September 30, 2014
12/04/13
Deviant Behavior
Final Exam

Over the last few months of this fall semester, much was learned and I enjoyed all of the thought provoking academic discussions. When the topic about Social Control Theory was discussed in class for some reason it had a huge impact on me and my life right now. In sociology, the control theory attempts to explain an individual's social bonds in relation to their behavior. I feel as though life today, revolves around how deep a bond is. Control theories assume that delinquent acts result when an individual's bond to society is weak or broken. This micro-level theory states that all people have potential for deviance. The most prominent social control theorist in the twentieth Century, Travis Hirschi, viewed the motivations as so natural to human beings that no special forces were necessary to explain a weak or broken society. It is understood that social control can refer to mechanisms intended to inhibit deviance and encourage conformity, and that social bonds facilitate process. Hirschi merely presumes that social relationships, personal investments and beliefs that discourage delinquency are social controls. Elements of the bond have certain factors that some people influence each other so heavily: Attachment to others

Commitment to conformity
Involvement in conventional activities
Belief in the moral validity of social rules

When deviant behavior is studied, typically scientists and investigator's look for what causes that behavior. In control theory, the opposite is true. The investigator wants to find out what causes conformity instead of what causes deviance. The impact of the control theory in relation to deviant behavior is tremendous.  Once I get attached to someone it’s a bond hard to break. The bonds I have with society are fairly strong. Even living away at college, I have a strong sense of attachment to my family, and I talk to someone in it at least once a week. Even when I'm angry with them, I...

References: Adler & Adler Constructions of Deviance (7th edition, 2011)
Causes of Delinquency, Hirschi (1969)
Goode, Erich. (1996). Social Deviance. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Kelly, Delos H. & Clark, Edward J. (2003). Deviant Behavior: A Text-Reader in the Sociology of Deviance. 6th Edition. New York: Worth Publishers.
Vazsonyi, A., & Huang, L. (2010). Where Self-Control Comes From: On the Development of Self-Control and Its Relationship to Deviance Over Time. Developmental Psychology, 46(1), 245-257.doi:10.1037/a0016538.
Latimore, T., Tittle, C., & Grasmick, H. (2006). Childrearing, self-control, and crime: Additional evidence. Sociological Inquiry, 76(3), 343-371. Retrieved from America: History & Life database.
Ezinga, M., Weerman, F., Westenberg, P., & Bijleveld, C. (2008). Early adolescence and delinquency: Levels of psychosocial development and self-control as an explanation of misbehaviour and delinquency. Psychology, Crime & Law, 14(4), 339-356. doi:10.1080
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