Social Control Theory

This resource outlines the key aspects of the Social Control Theory by Travis Hirschi.

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  • Control Theory
    • This theory was introduced by Travis Hirschi (1969).
    • The main argument of this theory is that individuals make the decision to break the law based on a societal bond breakdown.
      • There are four elements that contribute to this bond.
        • Attachment to other people
        • Commitment to following rules
        • Involvement by typical social behaviours
          • It is believed that if any of these elements were to break down an individual would begin to engage in criminal activity.
            • Belief
        • Belief
    • External and internal forms of control can influence a person to either stop acting in a criminal way or start acting in a criminal way.
    • It is understood that if an individual does begin to commit crime, it is because of a lack of social control.


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