Essay on Social Interactionist Perspective &; Crime

1036 Words May 25th, 2011 5 Pages
Social Interactionist Perspective &; Crime

As crime continues to occur, criminologists begin to define new theories to explain our seemingly naturalistic tendencies on what mental processes take place for an individual to actually partake in criminal activity. The symbolic interactionist perspective defines itself by its strong beliefs in the fact that criminals are defined by their social processes. The social process theory states that criminality is a function of people’s interactions with various groups, organizations and processes in society. For example, an individual’s connection with family, school, friends, religion and media would all be main factors in determining how their criminal structure within their personality came
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However, in the more popular and dominant version on control theory, Travis Hirschi links criminality and delinquency to the weakening of the ties that bind people to society. Hirschi’s theory links society, whom develops our rules and regulations to follow, to criminals in the respect that the individuals whom have a stronger tie to society also have a stronger ability to conform to its rules. He also believes that our social bonds as a society are weakening. Who actually sits down as a family and eats dinner together? Whose schedule is so wide open that they can take the kids to the park or go for a family outing on a weekend (and leave the cell phone at home?) Hirschi also believes that youths who are strongly attached to their parents were less likely to commit crime- however; I must directly disagree with that belief structure. As the symbolic interactionists believe, criminal behavior is learned- and therefore, if a youth is tied in closely with their parental units, and they are criminals themselves, how would the child most likely not be a criminal?
Next, we will discuss the social theory of labeling in the social reaction theory. Within this theory, Howard Becker defines those in power as constituting our laws and what should be labeled “deviant” and what should not. He believes also that society creates the criminals- that there is no such thing as deviance, sin or criminal

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