Social Bond Theory



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Social Bond Theory
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Social Bond Theory




write a 300 – 500 word essay that analyzes Travis Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory (a social control theory).


Reading and Research:


Read Chapter 4.

Watch the video of Travis Hirschi being interviewed by a panel of students.


Read Robert Agnew’s article on testing social control theory.

Agnew, R. (1985). Social Control Theory and Delinquency: A Longitudinal Test.


Criminology, 23(1), 47-61.


Search the library and/or Internet for information on “Social Bond Theory.”



Travis Hirschi argues that the social bond a person maintains with society contains four main elements. When one or more of these bonds are broken, delinquency may occur.


Robert Agnew argues that Hirschi may have it backwards. Individuals engage in crime/delinquency for any number of reasons (he would argue that it is because of Strain). And once this behavior occurs, it may break the social bond(s).


Hirschi: Broken Social Bond(s) à Crime / Delinquency


Agnew: Crime / Delinquency à Social Bond(s) being broken



In a 300 – 500 word essay, address the following:


Identify and briefly describe Hirschi’s 4 social bonds,

Briefly describe Robert Agnew’s Strain theory,

Present a brief argument in support of either Hirschi or Agnew.

Depending on which theory is supported in item 3 above, how should juvenile justice administrators address juvenile delinquency? What programs might help reduce delinquency?

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