Good Example Of Research Paper On Control Theories

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Theory, Sociology, Control, Self-Control, Discipline, Criminal Justice, People, Stock Market

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/11/21

Society is an integral function of the nation and seeks to increase the efficiency of the nation’s operations by splitting the country into communities which have a single leader. A society will always unite people and give them a uniting factor. For instance, a community could have a common purpose which will unite their goals and strategy and have they become a basic unit of the country. Hence, the possibility of the country to gain control over its people is achievable through promoting of a society. The country has to look into crime and apply the right choice if societies are to be made adequate. Their approach in crime would be best if they had a keener insight and better understanding of the concepts of Travis Hirschi and what he thought about control theories. This will help nations will have control on the crime levels in their countries and promote a better lifestyle for its occupants. This essay seeks this insight to promote the understanding of the concepts he asserts for better governing of countries.


Travis Hirschi stipulates that humans have a selfish nature and their decisions are usually biased towards the choice which will give the greatest reward. Their choices will always satisfy a certain demand of the people. A fine instance is where people go to their workplaces. They will go there because the work opportunity has a good reward. Because of this benefit, the humans will always choose this option. However, if given a chance of the same choice but without the benefits, very few will even feel obliged to do the job. Travis Hirschi asserts that for social bonds to be either strong or weak there are four elements of social bonds. They include belief, commitment, involvement and attachment. Each of these elements will work to either strengthen or weaken the social bonds in existence within society (Durkin et al., 2007).
Control theories will always seek to understand why people have a knack for following rules unlike a huge chunk of the criminology discipline which endeavor to provide an explanation to why people will commit offences. Social control theory, being of no exception walks hand in hand with these demands. However, social control theory uses an approach distinct to only it in that it explains the human nature which under the surface which includes free will. This implies that even offenders have choice to make before they commit an offence. Consequently, they earn responsibility for whatever offence they commit. Therefore, the perspective Travis Hirschi (Durkin et al., 2007) asserts in the social control theory is that it is in line with the classical perspectives of criminology rather than the determinists and the positivist perspectives. The general idea is that even the offenders share a common belief with the non-offenders that those rules set are to be followed.
Attachment was the first social bond and it shows the level of affection psychologically one has for the pro-social institutions or rather others. The parents and the schools played a key role in the youth’s lives in regards to this aspect. Commitment is next and implies the significance of the social relationships which people hold in high esteem and would do little to jeopardize this relationship. Involvement is the other type of bond which stipulates the opportunity costs which are in association with how people will spend their time. Belief is the final type of social bond which implies the degree with which one adheres to the demands of the values in association with the behaviors that are in conformity with the law. The principle in this sense is that the more significance these values hold to a man, therefore, the propensity that such a person will commit an offence breaking these values is low (Ennett et al., 2008).
The self-control theory came to life as a result of the evaluation and a keener analysis of the social control theory. Where the social control theory analyzes the importance that social bonds hold as a factor insulating someone from criminal involvement, the self-control theory demands that low self-esteem is a significant player in criminality though it is underlying meaning that it is not visible unless a keener analysis is done. Hirschi and Gottfredson borrowed ideologies and notions from other theories so that they could integrate and the result was the self-control theory (Mears et al., 2013).
As much as these two theories have their difference in terms of what they believed as the main drive towards criminal activities, they do agree on one fact and have their attention centered here: aspects a child gets throughout his or her development as a result of effective parenting. Self-control theory emphasizes the part self-control or a lack of this trait will be a key player in promoting criminal actions. To answer his critique of the social bonds theory, Hirschi asserted that there has been a significant relationship that has been uncovered accentuating the relationship between low self-control and delinquency (Mears et al., 2013).


The significance of the control theories cannot be understated. The social bonds theory emphasizes the social bonds as a motivator of criminal activities. This gives the governments and other investors in the security sector a platform to comprehend the causes of crime and formulate methodologies to make society a better place. This will help countries protect their youths from the bad influence crime has on their lives. The self-control theory is a deeper revelation of the social bonds theory and emphasizes self-control as a player in criminal activity.


Durkin, K. F., Wolfe, S. E., & May, R. W. (2007). Social Bond Theory and Drunk Driving In a Sample of College Students. College Student Journal, 41(3), 734-744.
Ennett, S. T., Foshee, V. A., Bauman, K. E., Hussong, A., Cai, L., Reyes, H. M., & DuRant, R. (2008). The Social Ecology of Adolescent Alcohol Misuse. Child Development, 79(6), 1777-1791. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01225.x
Mears, D., Cochran, J., & Beaver, K. (2013). Self-Control Theory and Nonlinear Effects on Offending. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 29(3), 447-476. doi: 10.1007/s10940-012-9187-5

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