Social Process Theory

646 Words3 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the social process theories and how these theories are in relation to determining why individuals commit crimes. The social process theory views committing crimes as being a learned behavior. These learned behaviors are due to the interactions with organizations, institutions, and things that happen within society. Due to society’s lack of control to contain these criminal acts, negative labeling occurs. This labeling is what pushes people into committing crimes (Siegel, 2000). There are three theories within the social process theory. These theories are the social learning theory, the social control theory, and the social labeling theory. The social learning theory view is people act aggressively because of what they were taught, what they witnessed, or because of being rewarded for deviant behavior (Zavala & Spohn, 2012). An example of this theory would be if a child sees his parents or an authority figure he or she looks up to committing crimes or indulging in violence. That child most likely would view that type of behavior as acceptable. The social control theory states that people commit crimes when the processes which keep them in society are broken or weakened. Also within this theory, it is believed, the more socialized a person is as a child, and greater bonds they maintain with others, the less likely they will be to commit crimes (Siegel, 2000). Lastly, the social labeling theory view is when people are being labeled as criminals, they begin to take on that identity, and end up as criminals (Siegel, 2000). An example of social labeling would be a person goes to prison, serves his/her time and gets out. Due to incarceration, this person is then labeled by society as being deviant. When the person tries to get a job, no one will hire him/her because of that social label. They establish a poor employment record
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