Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gottfredson, Michael R., and Travis Hirschi: Self-Control Theory
Chris L. Gibson
More than two decades have now passed since the publication of Michael R. Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi's General Theory of Crime . It is this book where they articulated self-control theory, one of the most controversial criminological theories in recent history. Even now, their theory remains at the center of criminological discourse and has resulted in continued theoretical and empirical scrutiny. The roots of this intense scrutiny permeating criminological literature lies in Gottfredson and Hirschi's controversial, yet parsimonious and well-argued, constellation of propositions—namely the emphasis they place on self-control as the individual level cause of criminal and deviant behavior. Their statements concerning the explanations of criminal behavior practically dismiss most criminological theories as incorrect. Gottfredson and Hirschi argue that traditional theories of delinquent and criminal behavior generate unreasonably assorted explanations for why people commit crime. They further believe that other criminological theories generally propose relationships between social and behavioral domains ...