Crim105-Social Control Paper

Crim105-Social Control Paper - Matt Hines CCJS105 Section...

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Matt Hines CCJS105 Section 0102 ID number: 110601142 Prior to the 20 th century, criminologists generally theorized criminality to be caused by “lack of fear of deterrence, defective, individual genetics, or the psyche.” (Hagan 145) However, beginning in the 1930s scholars, inspired by economic theorists (Marx and Bonger) and ecological theorists (Quetelet and Guerry), inquired about the causal relationship between sociological factors and crime. This new school of thought led to a plethora of new theories all rooted in sociological explanations of criminality. Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi were two sociologists who emerged from this new movement. Specifically, Gottfredson and Hirschi’s work heavily contributed to the general theory a crime, a major theory to materialize from the sociological mainstream. According to Frank Hagan, the general theory of crime asserts that “‘low self-control’ in the pursuit of ‘self-interest’ causes crime.” (Hagan 166) Therefore, crime is caused by a combination of weak self control and opportunity. Academic studies in the criminology community have been conducted to analyze the validity of this theory. After analyzing two peer reviewed, ‘self control centric’ papers it is evident that the general theory of crime has partial, but not full support. There have been numerous studies conducted by criminologists examining the validity of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime (i.e. self control theory). While most of the studies to test Gottfredson and Hirschi’s theory have focused on the relationship between low self control and crime, in Carter Hay’s analysis, the main objective is to determine how parenting causes low self control. Gottfredson and Hirschi argue that parenting is the principal cause of low self control however there have been
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few empirical tests done to examine this claim. Hay’s analysis is captured in the scholarly article “Parenting, Self-Control, and Delinquency: a Test of Self-Control Theory.” Hay tests two hypotheses in his paper: (1) variables comprising effective parenting correlate negatively to low self control, (2) the impact of effective parenting or delinquency should
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course CCJS 105 taught by Professor Mcgoin during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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Crim105-Social Control Paper - Matt Hines CCJS105 Section...

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