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
Cullen, Francis T.: Social Support and Crime
Travis C. Pratt & Tasha Kunzi
Most criminological theories generally fall into one of two broad categories. First, there are a number of motivational theories that emphasize the importance of social conditions and cultural dynamics that may be criminogenic (e.g., anomie/strain, economic deprivation theories). Then there are opportunity theories that focus on how the breakdown of social institutions may weaken the ability of social collectives to exert control over citizens’ behavior (e.g., routine activity, rational choice, and social disorganization theories). Francis T. Cullen's social support theory, however, represents a bit of a departure from this dichotomous way of thinking about crime. At its most basic level, instead of looking at the ways in which individuals or communities may or may not be exposed to certain criminogenic conditions, social support theory is more oriented toward explaining how certain social-contextual conditions may insulate people from crime and victimization. This is not to say that social support theory denies ...