Hirschi Social Control Theory

1074 Words5 Pages
8.Criminological theories
8.1.Social Control Theory
In 1969 Hirschi developed a theory which could possibly explain why individuals who abide by the rules and values of society as well as maintain a connection with aspects such as family and school are less likely to engage in deviant activities (Walklate, 2011:85). According to Walklate (2011:85) the theory of social control includes four elements which could either strengthen or weaken social relationships which could lead to the causation or prevention deviant behaviour. Hirschi (2011:16-26) states that these elements include attachment, commitment, involvement as well as belief.

Attachment refers to the interpersonal relationships as well as cultural and social norms of an individual.
…show more content…
Christopher Mhlengwa Zikode’s criminal behaviour can be explained through the social control theory. Zikode only attended school from the age of 13 and was expelled shortly after and therefore did not successfully form an attachment to a school environment (Pistorius, 2005:220). Attachment to school is suggested to be an important means of establishing social control (Hirschi, 2011:115). Zikode failed to establish an attachment to school as well as failing to establish social relationships outside of his home and the violence displayed through faction fights in his community taught Zikode that violence is culturally accepted (Pistorius,…show more content…
McKay developed the social disorganisation theory (Bond, 2015:1). The social disorganisation theory, which is regarded as one of the most important theories connected to ecological theories, was developed through Shaw and McKay’s research from the Chicago School of Criminology (Xiong, 2015:47). Social disorganisation theory is primarily utilised in order to examine the relationship which exists between the community and crime (Xiong, 2015:47). The social disorganisation theory presumes that criminal behaviour is the result of social as well as physical environments of an individual (Briggs, 2016:1). Consequently, an environment with unravelling social structures will most likely also have high crime rates (Briggs, 2016:1). Briggs (2016:1) is of the opinion that environments with unravelling social structure will have high unemployment rates, poor schools, buildings which have been vandalised as well as both commercial and residential
Open Document