Sociology_U5DB |


“A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using…social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances” (Urban Dictionary, 2010).

  • Do you think “catfishing” constitutes a crime or an act of social deviance? Explain. 

While this may be a widespread practice that has been the subject of a major motion picture (Catfish) and its own TV show (Catfish: The TV Show), and has even on occasion been the subject of national news (e.g., the case of former football star Manti Te’o), most people do not act in this way. According to control theory, this is because there are a number of controls (or restraints) that operate in society to keep people from violating normal behavior. 

  • Discuss these controls, and explain how the failure of at least 1 of them might lead people to catfish others. 
  • Also, consider the role of Hirschi’s four components that constitute a person’s bond with society.


Urban Dictionary. (2010, July 22). Catfish. Retrieved from

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