Travis Hirschi's Social Bond Theory

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In 2012, there were an estimated 14,827 murders and non-negligent manslaughter crimes reported by all agencies in the United States according to the Uniform Crime Report at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter are defined “as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another.” A 1.1 percent increase occurred from 2011 to 2012. But it should be noted, this is a 9.9 percent drop from the figure for 2008 and a 10.3 percent decrease from the number of murders recorded in 2003. Of the murders that occurred in 2012, it is estimated that 43.6 percent were reported in the south, 21.0 percent were from the Midwest, 21.0 percent were accounted from the west, and 14.2 percent were from the northeast …show more content…

The Social Bond Theory is concerned with the functions that social relationships play in people’s lives and the bonds they develop with others and institutions to avoid criminal behavior (Walsh 81). There are four elements to the Social Bond Theory. The first is attachment. This is the emotional bond that is developed with social environments and individuals like your family, friends, and school. Attachment leads people to feel they are appreciated, accepted, and loved. Social attachment drives an individual to value what other people think of them. They do not want to do anything that would risk the emotional bond they have formed with the people they value in their lives. The second element is commitment. Commitment refers to the time and effort that is spent building a normal life. It is the commitment each individual spends working hard in their life toward success, whether it is regarding your education or career, or building your status and character. People who value commitment would not risk it by giving in to crime. Children commit to doing things that they don’t like to do because they want their parent’s approval. So, attachment is an important basis for an individual to succeed and commit to a noncriminal life. Involvement is the third element and it is a direct result of commitment. This is the concrete time spent in noncriminal activities. The more time you invest in legitimate activities the less time you will have for deviant behavior. The last element is belief. This refers to the internal social values an individual holds in their life regarding social standards that regulate their behavior. People who don’t develop and have attachment, commitment, and involvement in their lives don’t believe in the usual morals and principles of society. They’re only goal in life is their own selfish ways (Walsh

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