Posted: February 9th, 2023

Compare and contrast Hirschi’s two theories

Week 8 3300

Compare and contrast Hirschi’s two theories. How would each theory propose we do to prevent crime?
Two of Hirschi’s theories that will be compared and contrasted are the social control theory and a general theory of crime. The two theories are similar some way. For instance, both of them are founded on the same elements, i.e., they have similar elements of control which encompass commitment, attachment, beliefs and involvement. The two theories also have some dissimilarity. For instance, the social control theory asserts that crime takes place when family bonds become weak or are not established well; in contrast, a general theory of crime states that an individual’s propensity toward criminal conduct can be attributed to low self-control (Wells, 2017). Also, whereas, the social control theory puts emphasis on the significance of indirect control-that permits parents to have a mental presence when youth are not under their watch, a general theory of crime puts emphasis on direct control.
According to the social control theory the solution to preventing crime lies in establishing and strengthening family bonds. Therefore, strong ties to school, family and other societal aspects will decrease an individual’s likelihood of committing crime. A general theory of crime proposes that the key to preventing crime is having high self-control. This way, people will be able to defeat criminogenic tendencies, when they come into contact with unlawful opportunities.
Apply differential coercion theory to our current criminal justice system. According to theory’s concepts, is our current system expected to be effective? Why or why not?
The differential coercion theory posits that juveniles who go through negative experiences in their social lives and homes are more likely to lack in particular psychological and social areas (Lilly, Cullen, & Ball, 2017). According to this theory’s concepts, our current system is not expected to be effective. This is because our justice system exposes juveniles to harsh conditions, where they also get mistreated by others. Therefore, instead of them reforming, some end adopting more delinquent behaviors.

Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2017). Criminological Theory: Context and
Consequences. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Wells, L. (2017). Social Control and Self-Control Theories of Crime and Deviance. London,
England: Routledge.

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