The Social Control Theory is a well-known criminological theory that explains how social bonds and relationships can prevent individuals from committing crimes. This theory was first introduced by Travis Hirschi, an American sociologist, in 1969.

Travis Hirschi:

Travis Hirschi was born in 1935 in Rockville, Utah. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and then moved on to receive his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. After completing his education, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona where he spent most of his academic career.

The Social Control Theory:

Hirschi’s Social Control Theory argues that people are less likely to commit crimes if they have strong social bonds and connections within their community. These social bonds can take many forms such as family, friends, school, or work colleagues. The stronger these bonds are, the less likely an individual is to engage in criminal activities.

According to Hirschi’s theory, there are four main types of social bonds that prevent individuals from committing crimes: attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief.

Attachment:

Attachment refers to an individual’s emotional ties with others such as family members or close friends. Individuals who have strong attachments with others are less likely to commit crimes because they fear the negative consequences it could have on their relationships.

Commitment:

Commitment refers to an individual’s investment in conventional society such as education or career goals. If an individual has invested time and effort into achieving these goals, they are less likely to engage in criminal behavior because it could jeopardize their future aspirations.

Involvement:

Involvement refers to an individual’s participation in conventional activities such as sports teams or clubs. Individuals who participate in these activities have less free time for criminal activity and are also more likely to have positive role models.

Belief:

Belief refers to an individual’s adherence to social norms and values. Individuals who believe in the legitimacy of these norms and values are less likely to engage in criminal behavior because they fear the negative consequences it could have on their reputation.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, Travis Hirschi’s Social Control Theory has become a fundamental criminological theory that explains how social bonds and relationships can prevent individuals from committing crimes. Through his research, Hirschi has shown that strong social bonds such as attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief are essential for preventing criminal behavior. Understanding the importance of these social bonds can help us develop strategies to reduce crime rates.