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Theory of crimes paper2 - Essay Example

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Among the oldest theories in crime are the control theories that have previously dwelt extensively on social control. They have focused on people’s relationships with socialization agents including parents, law enforcers, preachers and teachers and how bonding with them translated into social bonding and staying away from crime. This was termed as indirect control. However, further studies on social control by Hirschi and Gottfredson narrowed it down to self control, which they also referred to as direct control under the General Theory of Crime (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011). This paper will discuss the theory of self control in relation to theories of crime and explain its assumptions and empirical status. It will then apply it to the White family from the movie the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia using specific examples and give the writer’s opinion on how well the theory explains the criminality of the White family. Indirect control was based on attachment, beliefs, involvement and commitment to explain how parents could have a psychological presence in their children’s lives and deter them from criminal tendencies (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011). ...
However, changes are observed when the individuals acquire knowledge of how the sanction systems operate. This assumption also presents the key challenge of self control in the context of the degree of difference of the inclination of individuals to shun crime under whatever circumstances they are in. To give a better understanding of the explanation of self control as it applies to crime, Hirschi and Gottfredson distinguished crime and criminality. While crime constitutes the actual incidents through which laws are broken, criminality is not an act but the tendency to offend (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011). Hence, a tendency can only be acted upon and materialized in the existence of an opportunity. In that sense, crime can only be a consequence of individuals who have low self control and high levels of criminality being exposed to opportunities to commit the crime. The theorists further point out that the opportunities themselves are often illegal. Basing on the constant availability of the opportunities and ease of committing crime, it follows that individuals with low self-control will, as anticipated, slip deeper into involvement with criminal behavior. This argument offers an empirical support to the theory of self control that self control, rather than opportunity, is the fundamental determining factor as to whether individuals will involve themselves in crime in the course of their lives or not (Lilly, Cullen & Ball, 2011). Using the concept of self control, which also includes the lack of it, the theorists presented a process through which crime is thought to occur. The process is believed to start with a spontaneous personality; then ...Show more
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Theory of Crimes Paper 2 Name: Institution: Theory of Crimes Paper 2 Theories of crime are a necessary step towards understanding criminal justice. Defining crime from a legalistic perspective rather that a normative one, sociologists have incorporated the assumptions, causation principles and structure to predict and explain theories that they have proposed (Arrigo & Williams, 2006)…
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