In criminology, social bond theory claims that taking advantage of socialization and social ties can condition individuals against indulging in antisocial behavior. Travis Warner Hirschi, who developed the social bond theory in 1969 held the assumption that human beings have a natural inclination towards delinquency. Thus, his answer to the forces that prevent humans from going against social norms lies in social bonds and the ways they enforce social control.
Hirschi’s elements of social bonds include:
Despite the logical assumption that social bonds can help control deviant behavior, Hirschi’s social bond theory has several weaknesses such as ignoring individual motivations for crime. While Hirschi’s 4 elements of social bonds are direct, they fail to apply to all forms of crime, such as youth delinquency and white collar crime. Individuals that engage in such crimes are often committed to the society, with high levels of involvement and attachments.
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