Travis Hirschi

Trina Hope

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online April 2013 | | DOI:
Travis Hirschi

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Travis Hirschi was born on 15 April 1935, in Rockville, Utah. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology and history in 1957 and his master’s degree in sociology and educational psychology in 1958, both from the University of Utah. He was drafted in 1958 and spent two years as a data analyst for the US Army. After his time in the army, he entered the PhD program in sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. While at Berkeley, Hirschi became interested in the works of scholars such as Thomas Hobbes and Émile Durkheim, and he took courses from the eminent sociologist Erving Goffman. Both of these intellectual undertakings set the stage for his classical/control theory view of human nature and the causes of crime. He also took courses from, and worked as a research assistant for, Hanan Selvin, which lead him to acquire an interest in issues of measurement in the field of criminology, an interest that culminated in the publication of his first book. In 1964, Hirschi joined Alan Wilson, the director of the Richmond Youth Project. This research project provided Hirschi with the data he would use for his dissertation and first sole-authored book, in which he presented his theory of social control, described how the concepts were operationalized, and presented empirical tests of the theory alongside tests of learning and strain theories. While in the last stages of writing his dissertation, Hirschi took a job as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Washington, Seattle. In 1974, Hirschi took a visiting professor job in the School of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York at Albany. This visiting professor position turned into a permanent one, and Hirschi remained at Albany for the next several years. In 1981, Hirschi joined the faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of Arizona, where he remained until his retirement in 1997 (he remains an emeritus professor at Arizona). It was at Albany where Hirschi met Michael Gottfredson. Gottfredson and Hirschi collaborated frequently for the rest of Hirschi’s career. Hirschi is one of the most cited criminologists in the field, and his work continues to be relevant today.

Article.  5899 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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