An Introduction to Gottfredson and Hirschi's A General Theory of Crime

Parents who fail to discipline their children may be raising criminals. A video summary of A General Theory of Crime by Gottfredson and Hirschi, part of a larger playlist on the world's greatest ideas, presents the notion that discipline as a child and the potential to become a criminal are distinctly related. The video breaks down key components of the argument and adds illustrations to help clarify key points.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Before watching the video, discuss some reasons people may commit crimes
  • Talk about what appropriate rewards and punishments during childhood may look like
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires understanding of key terms such as discipline, regulation, and self-control
  • Offers clear, well-paced narration to make it easier for listeners to follow along
  • Focuses on a controversial claim to pique viewer interest
  • Provides a highly specific analogy that may prove difficult to apply to the real world