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Control Theory of Deviance -- Research Starters Sociology

By: Holland, Donna;

2009 / EBSCO


An overview of control theory of deviance is provided beginning with a general review of social control followed by brief explanations of specific theories of social control. The development of social control theory is displayed through the review of Sykes and Matza's techniques of neutralization, Matza's Drift theory, Reckless' Containment theory, Gottfredson and Hirschi's low self control theory and ending with the more popular social bond theory developed earlier by Hirschi. Social implications of social control theory are provided. Social control theory generally assumes that the connection people have to each other and to society prevents people from engaging in deviant behavior. Without the presence of social control, society would not exist as we know it. Social control theories aid in our understanding of why most people do not behave in deviant ways most of the time.