Gardner’s Life

Supporting Lectures:

  • Positive Criminology
  • Social Structure Theory

Case Study

Christopher Gardner was rendered jobless and homeless at the age of 30 in 1981.

With his baby son, Gardner moved from shelter to shelter in San Francisco as he tried to find a job. Gardner eventually managed to get the job of a trainee at a stock-brokerage firm. Through his determination and grit, he managed to rise all the way up and finally own the successful brokerage firm, Gardner Rich, which he founded in 1987.

Research more about Gardner’s life and consider the impact of an individual’s environment on behavior and choices. Prepare a 4-6 page report in Microsoft Word that addresses the following points:

  • Summarize Gardner’s rise from homelessness to financial success, including a description of his current status.
  • Relate Gardner’s experience to theories presented in the course to this point. You should be able to apply theories to both his difficulties and his successes.
  • What kind of information about Gardner’s background would a social control theorist require in order to be fully informed about Gardner’s environment and to explain how he improved his life? Why?
  • What social control mechanisms might Gardner have encountered in his early life that could have aided his behavior later in life?
  • If Gardner, frustrated with his life, had taken up a career of crime, which criminological theories could have been utilized to defend his actions?


Last Updated on July 23, 2019

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