Causes of Delinquency

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Transaction Publishers, Dec 31, 2011 - Social Science - 309 pages
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In Causes of Delinquency, Hirschi attempts to state and test a theory of delinquency, seeing in the delinquent a person relatively free of the intimate attachments, the aspirations, and the moral beliefs that bind most people to a life within the law. In prominent alternative theories, the delinquent appears either as a frustrated striver forced into delinquency by his acceptance of the goals common to us all, or as an innocent foreigner attempting to obey the rules of a society that is not in position to make the law or define conduct as good or evil. Hirschi analyzes a large body of data on delinquency collected in Western Contra Costa County, California, contrasting throughout the assumptions of the strain, control, and cultural deviance theories. He outlines the assumptions of these theories and discusses the logical and empirical difficulties attributed to each of them. Then draws from sources an outline of social control theory, the theory that informs the subsequent analysis and which is advocated here. Often listed as a "Citation Classic," Causes of Delinquency retains its force and cogency with age. It is an important volume and a necessary addition to the libraries of sociologists, criminologists, scholars and students in the area of delinquency.
 

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Contents

A Control Theory of Delinquency
16
The Sample and the Data
35
What Is Delinquency?
47
The Social Distribution of Delinquency
65
Attachment to Parents
83
Attachment to the School
110
Attachment to Peers
135
Commitment to Conventional Lines of Action
162
Involvement in Convenuonal Acuviues
187
Belief
197
A Look Back
225
Reference Matter
233
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About the author (2011)

Travis Hirschi is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Arizona. He is past president of the American Society of Criminology and winner of its Edwin H. Sutherland Award. His works include Delinquency Research, Causes of Delinquency, and Generality of Deviance.  

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