Why Don't We All Commit Crimes? Analytical Essay by michaelbourt

Why Don't We All Commit Crimes?
An assessment of the control theory and the question of why most people do not commit crimes.
# 147315 | 2,073 words | 6 sources | APA | 2009 | GB
Published on Mar 18, 2011 in Sociology (General) , Criminology (General)

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The paper assesses the control theory and conceptualizes the question of why most people refrain from committing crime. Above all, the paper makes clear that control theorists view the controls and constraints placed upon individuals in society as the primary reason for the preponderance of non-criminal activity. The paper stresses that it is when such constraints and limitations differ that varying levels of criminal activity are found.

From the Paper:

"In conclusion, the fundamental tenets of control theory have been assessed in detail. What is clear is that this variant of criminological thought is largely indebted to the sociological tradition of viewing social functions as the primary factor that motivates individuals to act in a particular way. However, in relation to crime, control theory offers a unique and innovative way of conceptualising a hugely prevalent social problem. As we have seen, the primary focus lies not in explaining the criminal behaviour of a small minority, but the non criminal nature of the majority. Thus, when posing the question of why the majority of people in society are largely law abiding, control theorists cite social control mechanisms as the ultimate explanatory factor. Family, community, law enforcement agencies and a whole plethora of other actors and issues all combine to restrict the ability of the majority to engage in criminal activity. This is achieved through a variety of methods ranging from loss of social position and social capital to the fear of punishment for a criminal offence. However, what is clear is that as these social control mechanisms differ in their extent and range in different circumstances, then the willingness to refrain from criminal activity will also differ. One must never completely disregard the individual psychological traits that are often the product of biology. However, in the finest traditions of sociological and criminological thought, control theory once again highlights the primacy of social forces in relation to individual acts."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Durkheim, E. (2002). Suicide: a study in sociology. Translated from the original French by John Spaulding and George Simpson. New York: Routledge.
  • Henry, S and Lanier, M. (2006). The Essential Criminology Reader. Colorado: Westview.
  • Hirschi, Travis. (2002). Causes of delinquency. London: Transaction.
  • Laub, J and Sampson, R. (1988). "Unravelling Families and Delinquency". Criminology 26:355-80.
  • Maguire, M, Morgan, R and Reiner, R. (1997). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford: Open University.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Why Don't We All Commit Crimes? (2011, March 18) Retrieved June 07, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-don-t-we-all-commit-crimes-147315/

MLA Format

"Why Don't We All Commit Crimes?" 18 March 2011. Web. 07 June. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/why-don-t-we-all-commit-crimes-147315/>