Social Issues / Crim. Essay On Travis Hirschi
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Autor: anton 27 November 2010
Words: 1184 | Pages: 5
The holidays are approaching and many children are making their annual Christmas lists for mom and dad. Dad is hanging the lights on the house while mom is decorating the house with ornaments. The kids are dreaming of the morning they wake up and mom and dad are sitting next to the tree on Christmas morning with smiles of invitation. Well those dreams ceased for me at the age of eight, and for the most part I never really I had a chance to begin that dream. Growing up in a single parent house was hard enough, but I was young and things like who had the nicest clothes and cars didnâ€™t matter to me so I was happy in my youth. My family was important to me. My two brothers and my mom were all I needed. Until that day came to an end day when my mother past away from aids. Working as a nurse to insure the health and quality of other peoples lives she became infected. Now only eight, not knowing my father because he was taken from me before I was even born by a bullet. My two brothers who the oldest eighteen and the middle sixteen and I are now on our own.
Travis Hirschi asked why do people not commit crimes. He believed that people avoided delinquent acts because of there ties to social institutions. This theory he speaks about is called Social Bond Theory. At this time in my life I was left without anyone to draw a bond with. For around a year and a half I was moved from five different foster homes never creating that bond with the families that was needed to prevent delinquency. The whole time I also had been to three different schools because for bad behavior. At this stage in my life it is easy to see that Hirschiâ€™s theory of social bond was prevalent. Hirschi states there are four elements to this theory, those being attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief. Attachment being the more important element focuses on how much we care about the opinions of the social groups around us. This in turn leads to respect for those who are influential on our lives. As a child it was important for me to feel that I was accomplishing things for others and making them proud. None of this mattered though because there was no one for me to feel respect for or to feel as if I was successful. This is why I turned to deviance in school and at the houses I was in. If I didnâ€™t feel sensitive to the view the families and schools were placing on me I felt no need to obey their rules. Which leads to the next element of the theory.
Commitment which relates to the amount of energy or investment a person would put into their goals in life. What goals did I have at eight? With no mother or father to welcome me home from school. No siblings around to share feelings or interests with. At eight there was no one telling me education was important in a foster home. At this time in my life the only thing I was being told was your lucky someone let you move into their house so you better listen to them. I saw no future for myself so there was no point making goals or investing energy in something that was not existent. So instead I was a trouble maker still causing problems in school and at home. This element has some similarities to the next element which is involvement.
This refers to the belief that the more time you spend on your goals in life then the time you have to be deviant. Well I had all the time in the world to be deviant. In fourth grade I spent a year in a behavioral disorder classes because the schools felt this was my problem and placing me in a classroom full of people without any goals in life, but since the had to be there the school didnâ€™t want them around the normal students. Keep in mind I never performed badly academically in school being with kids who were far behind only diminished what little purpose I felt in academics.
Finally the last element is belief, the acceptance of the rules and norms of the structural views around you. At this point in my life there was no belief in any system. Why would I believe in a system that moved me from home to home and not understand why I was a little unbalanced. Why would I believe in a system that placed a label on me at each school as the tough kid to handle, never mind the fact that I had just lost everything that the short eight years of my life had ever known. Hirschi expresses the tie between all of these elements, and believes that the relationship is strong enough to say that if you are influenced strongly by one of the elements then it is likely that you are also influenced by them all.
Fortunately for me I had the opportunity of not living this theory all the way out in this aspect. I was eventually adopted by my oldest brother who was still only a freshman at UNI. He eventually married a incredible woman who was a teacher ironically and they both began a journey with me in rebuilding a broken child. All the four elements of Hirschiâ€™s theory began again with a two parent home. A home with good Christian morals and allowed me to see the importance of education. When I reached junior high I became a 3.0 student and remained until the day I graduated. Sports became a very important part of my life because of my brothers both playing college athletics I created goals and to this day still have an increasing family because of it.
In thinking about what I would consider the most significant thing I learned this semester it was difficult. I am a sociology major, so for the last four years I have been beat to death with theories and more theories. I am interested in criminology not for the theories because honestly I believe many of the things that theorist have written about are things that I believe anyone who took the time to look at society would notice. We would notice that we are influenced by our peers and that it is in human nature to want to be apart of something. That there is often a person who does not fit the â€œnormâ€ etc. So I believe the most significant thing I learned was how each of these theories related to deviance and crime.
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