Review of hirsch 1969
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Review of Hirsch (1969). What is a “pure” control theory? How is this different from other theories? What kind of control does the “social bond theory” emphasize? Why? What are the elements of the bond?. Social Support . This is Cullen’s pet theory—his article is in the end of your book

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Review of Hirsch (1969)

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Review of hirsch 1969

Review of Hirsch (1969)

  • What is a “pure” control theory?

    • How is this different from other theories?

  • What kind of control does the “social bond theory” emphasize?

    • Why?

  • What are the elements of the bond?


Social support

Social Support

  • This is Cullen’s pet theory—his article is in the end of your book

  • Social Support Matters

    • As a “precondition” of informal control

    • As an alternative explanation of why “marriage” or “parental attachment” are important


A general theory of crime gottfredson and hirschi 1990

A General Theory of CrimeGottfredson and Hirschi (1990)

“OOPS” -Travis Hirschi


Another classic

Another “Classic”

  • Start their theory with a statement of the “nature of crime”

  • Compare control vs. other theories (rehash of stuff we’ve discussed)

  • Attempt to explain the “stability” of antisocial behavior

    • “Heterotypic continuity”


The nature of crime and criminals

The Nature of Crime and Criminals

Criminal Acts…

Provide immediate gratification

of desires

Are risky/thrilling

Are easy/simple

Require little skill/planning

Provide few/meager long term

benefits

Result in pain/discomfort to a

victim

Criminals are therefore…

Impulsive

Risk-taking

Physical (as opposed to mental)

Low verbal ability

Short-sighted

Insensitive


Low self control

Low Self-Control

  • The cluster of traits (impulsive, insensitive…) tend to come together in people

  • They are present before “crime”

  • They tend to persist through life

  • Personality?

    • G&H argue against this--LSC doesn’t “require crime”

    • But, “well within the meaning of personality”


Causes of low self control

Causes of Low Self-Control

  • We are all born without self-control

    • Self Control is established in early childhood (age 8)

    • Causes must be in early childhood

  • Parents failure to supervise, recognize, punish

    • Straight from Patterson, but no role for “positive learning” (positive reinforcement)

      • “What parent kind of parent would train their kids to be delinquent?”

  • Biology? Infants might differ on “impulsiveness or verbal ability…but all can be socialized

    • Is this a cop out? ADHD?


Implications of low self control

Implications of Low Self-Control

  • The sole cause of crime and “analogous behaviors”

    • All Crime?

    • “Analogous Behaviors?”

  • Explains “stability” of criminality

    • Low self-control is stable over time

  • What does this mean for Hirschi’s social bonds?


2 explanations

2 Explanations

(Social Selection & Social Causation)

Social Bonds

Low Self Control Crime

Pure Social Selection

Poverty, Delinquent Peers,

Social Bonds, Neighborhood

Low Self Control Crime


Empirical support

Empirical Support

  • Tautology Problems

    • Only if self control inferred from“behavioral measures” (e.g., delinquency)

  • Attitudinal measures

    • I would rather read a book than engage in physical activities.

    • I tend to be value the “here and now” and do not like to plan my life.


Empirical support1

Empirical Support

  • Moderate to strong relationship

    • With delinquency, crime, and “analogous behaviors” (smoking cigs, driving fast)

    • Among the strongest predictors of crime

    • Similar strength regardless of who is tested (male/female, etc)

  • BUT:

    • Controlling for low self-control weakens, but doesn’t eliminate “social” causation

      • In other words, it appears as though low self-control is not the sole cause of crime

    • Are white collar offenders different from “street” offenders? (Some evidence they are)


Policy implications

Policy Implications

  • Low self-control stable after age 8

    • Only “early prevention” can reduce crime

    • Train parents, support parents??

      • Hirschi pessimistic about this

      • BUT, that is the whole point of Patterson’s work

  • Typical “rehabilitation” won’t reduce crime

  • Changing “bonds” won’t reduce crime


Reivew

REIVEW

  • Central Concepts

  • Empirical Support?

  • Scope?

  • Parsimony?


Criticisms

Criticisms

  • Why do people desist from criminal activity?

  • Not the “sole” cause of crime

    • Bonds still more important?

    • Social learning measures still important

  • Old wine in a new bottle? (Single Factor?)

  • Parenting sole cause of self-control?

  • Traditional Rehabilitation won’t work?

    • Trait vs. “Cognitive Skill”


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