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Self Control, Social Control and Evolutionary Psychology: Towards an Integrated Perspective on Crime

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Dated: October 1997 Pages: 403-431
A Brannigan
Date Published
29 pages
This article describes several theories of crime and suggests the foundations for an integrated theoretical synthesis.
The General Theory of Crime identifies low self control as a critical condition for individual choices associated with delinquency. The disposition towards low self control arises from failures in supervision, discipline and informal control in the family during the child's first 8 years of life. This approach is complemented by the Life Cycle theory, particularly in the stress on the process of informal social control and the structures of social capital, as those contribute to desistance among lifelong offenders. The Power-Control theory tackles the significant contribution to crime of gender socialization and the division of labor in child supervision. The Revised Control perspective still suffers from significant anomalies which cannot be explained within a classical framework. This article suggests that examining distal explanations of violence derived from an evolutionary view provides clues to those anomalies and suggests the foundations for an integrated theoretical synthesis. References