Labeling Theory And Social Bond Theory

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Comparative Analysis of Labeling Theory and Social Bond Theory
Throughout the years criminologists have tried to come up with explanations for what makes individuals more prone to engage in criminal activity. The explanations can range from labels given to individuals to the bonds individuals have with others. Over the years, the theories have been tweaked and integrated to help gain a better understanding of why individuals commit crimes. Some theories also call for explanation on how to reduce crime in the future as well. Everything in society is caused by something, which produces the effect. The cause is generally what goes unknown most of the time. This paper will analyze Labeling Theory and Social Bond Theory. First I will clearly describe
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Social Bond theory consists of four elements that help to understand and define the theory. The four elements are: attachment, commitment, involvement, and beliefs. The roots of Social Bond theory can be traced back to General Theory of Crime. The stronger all four elements are, the least likely one will engage in criminal activity, although Hirschi believes that everyone is capable of engaging in criminal activity (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis, 2013). Attachment, which is made of values and norms, and receives the most attention rather than any other element. Attachment usually begins at birth with the mother. Bonds or attachments at an early age help to establish future attachments with other family members, peers, teachers, etc. Parental attachment plays a strong part in an individual’s life. When parental attachment is reduced then delinquency acts are increased. Individuals with strong attachments are more likely to be respectful and refrain from deviant behavior (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis,…show more content…
The theory can be tested and it gives explanations for reducing crime. This theory does not mention the negative attachments, involvements, commitments, or beliefs that one may have. The theory could be extended a step further to looking negative impacts of the four elements to examine if they impact the chances of individuals committing more crimes. Social bond theory is applied to minor offenses; this theory would be more efficient if it would be applied to all offenses (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis, 2013). When social bond theory looks at the attachments, it does not take into account gender differences. Males and females may have different levels of attachment, but it may not affect their choice to partake in criminal activity. The general idea of morals is not taken into account as well. Hirschi generalizes the idea that everyone will commit crimes or do anything if they have weak bonds. Weak bonds leading to criminal activity is not the case for everyone. The theory does not take into account the people with weak bonds who refrain from criminal activity and progress in life (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis,

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