Criminology: Sociology and Street Crime Essay

Submitted By bhuff7
Words: 1147
Pages: 5

Street Crime and Social Control Theory

Abstract In the movie “Street Crime”, the low rate of crime in the uptown Chicago neighborhood is believed to be a direct effect of an effective form of Social Control Theory. With this area of the city being so diverse and the household income being well below the average level, it is thought that the crime rate would be much higher. In the eleventh edition of the Criminology textbook, Social Control Theory is defined as the theory that people who engage in crime are relatively free of intimate attachments, aspiration, and moral beliefs that bind them to a conventional and law abiding way of life. Throughout this article the different aspects of Social Control Theory will demonstrate and compare to the lack of crime rates that occurs in uptown Chicago. According to Travis Hirschi, bonds that people form to prosocial values, prosocial people, and prosocial institutions are key elements that help us control our behavior even when tempted to engage in criminal behavior or criminal acts (1969). Rita Simo, the founder of the center that offers children free music lessons to give the children an opportunity to participate in something, even when they do not have money to pay for such a thing. This is a perfect example of a prosocial institution. She is also a prosocial person because she has made herself very well known in the community with the individuals that cross her path. She made a statement in the movie that she felt her personal safety was not at risk at any time while walking the streets of uptown, because when you acknowledge people and are friendly with them, you give them a sense of knowingness. Not many people would dare to commit a random act of crime against someone who would then be able to identify them. Rita is also a well example of holding prosocial values. This woman loves this community and everyone in it. She has a passion for helping the people in the community and giving the children a place to go to besides the streets. In the text Parent are discussed as playing a big role in delinquency in a child. It is important for a parent to not only be physically present, but psychologically as well. If the parent is not present in the child’s mind, the child isn’t going to worry about how the parent would react if they should do something that is outside of the law. With emotional and intimate attachments, children will take into considerations of the parents’ opinions and this can be a huge prevention of delinquent acts. The movie discusses the importance of parenting and with all of the different ethnicities as well, they have provided programs that assist families with housing opportunities, and also care while the parent is working. The organization (O.N.E) also will help the adults with finding a job. This produces stability enabling the parent to provide for the child physically, and allowing the ability the psychologically be present. They have unity and there is evident social cohesion that can help life burdens that may otherwise block one psychologically. Schools play another big part of Social Control Theory. The school systems in uptown Chicago are very diverse and there are children from many different countries and many different languages spoken in each classroom. Instead of trying to shape all of them into one social norm, the school system acknowledge the different cultures and the children are interacted together. There is no discrimination against skin, ethnicity, religion, and so forth. The children are eager to learn of one another’s backgrounds as oppose the other areas that spend so much time disliking someone of different background due to not having the opportunity of social cohesion in the school systems. Academically, these children are all given equal opportunity on an education and the teachers really takes the time out to assist them. This may also play in with Hirschi’s reference to a bond of commitment. When people develop