Social Control Theory essay

For the sake of certain clarifications, shame, guilt and sanctioning (rewards and punishments) are all included in the elements of social control. It was known that society could have started through the social contract. Consequently, there were ways in regulating that social contract and it included the elements of social control. Plenty of social control theorists have already suggested theories of their own but most of these theories point, in general, to the three mentioned elements above.

The direct type of control would be through sanctioning that comes in two forms which is reward and punishment, the indirect type is through conscience or guilt, and the internal type is through the feeling of shame from the people that surrounds a person (“Social Control Theory,” 2007, para. 1). The theorists believe that through these basic elements of social control a person may refrain in delinquent acts.

In Travis Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory, he had explained that the four elements of bonding should be fulfilled so as to avoid any delinquent behaviors especially where juveniles or adolescents are concerned (“Social Control Theory,” n. d. ). These four elements are attachment which involves sentimental ties with other people, commitment which involves future goals, involvement which involves the societal values instilled in us in activities, and belief which involves in the belief of the societal norms as something moral (Wiattrowski, Griswold, Roberts, 1993, p. 525).

It could be inferred then that social control is greatly affected by the relationship within the basic unit of society, family, and the relationship of the person and others outside the immediate sphere or family. It could also be affected on how a person would give importance to societal norms. Conformity is the main goal of social control theories. This conformity does not pertain to conformity as a whole but conformity when it comes to societal laws or norms. In a way, a person could avoid acting out of judgment where others are concerned by taking into consideration society and its rules.


Social Control Theory. (2007). Retrieved May 16,2007, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Social_control_theory#Travis_Hirschi Wiatrowski, M. D. , Griswold, D. B. , & Roberts, M. K. (2007). Social Control Theory and Delinquency [Electronic Version]. American Sociological Review, 46 (5), 525. Zappen, M. (n. d. ). Social Control Theory. Causal Theories of Juvenile Delinquency: Social Perspectives. Retrieved May 16, 2007, from http://www. skidmore. edu/academics/english/courses/en205d/student7/scontrol. html