CRJ 320 University of Miami Chapter 8 Questions Please avoid plagiarism
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CHAPTER 8 QUESTIONS
1. According to social process theories, how does social interaction contribute to criminal behavior?
2. What kinds of social policy initiatives might be based on social process theories of crime causation?
3. What are the central concepts of social development theories? Explain each.
(Hint: There are three)
Please answer numbered questions in writing for chapter 8. APA format is required for this assignment. Responses should include detailed information to cover the material. Chapter 8 Theories of Social Process and Social Development – It’s
What We Learn
After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions:
• How does the perspective of social interaction contribute to understandings of criminal behavior? O
• What are the various social process approaches discussed in this chapter? O
• What kinds of social policy initiatives might be based on social process eories of crime causation?
• What are the shortcomings of social process theories?
• What are the various social development perspectives discussed in this chapter?
• What are the central concepts of social development theories?
• What kinds of social policy initiatives might be suggested by social development perspectives?
• What are the shortcomings of social development theories of criminality? 0
The Perspective of Social Interaction
The theories discussed in the first part of this chapter are called social process theories D, or interactionist perspectives, because they depend on the process of
interaction between individuals and society for their explanatory power. The various types of social process theories include social learning theory, social control theory,
and labeling theory. The second part of this chapter focuses on social development theories D, which tend to offer an integrated perspective and place a greater
emphasis on changes in offending over time. Figure 8-10 details the principles of social process and social development theories.
Figure 8-1 | Principles of Social Process and Social Development Theories
Principles of Social Process and Social
Social process theories of crime causation assume
that everyone has the potential to violate the law
and that criminality is not an innate human
Criminal behavior is learned through
interaction with others, and the socialization
process that occurs as the result of group
membership is seen as the primary route
through which learning occurs.
Among the most important groups
contributing to the process of socialization
are family, peers, work groups, and reference
groups with which one identifies.
This is the process through which
criminality is acquired; deviant self-concepts
are established; and criminal behavior results
are active, open-minded, and ongoing
throughout a person’s life.
Individuals who have low stakes in conformity are
more likely to be influenced by the social processes and
contingent experiences that lead to crime. Criminal
choices, once made, tend to persist because they are
reinforced by the reaction of society to those whom it
has identified as deviant.
The social development perspective
understands that development begins at
birth (and perhaps even earlier) and occurs
primarily within a social context.
Human development occurs on many levels
simultaneously, including psychological, biological,
familial, interpersonal, cultural, societal, and ecological.
Hence, social development theories tend to be integrated
theories, or theories that combine various points of view
on the process of development.
Social development theories focus more on individual
In 2012, 24-year-old Joran van der Sloot stood before a Peruvian judge and pled guilty to the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a Lima, Peru, hotel room.
“Yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely,” he told the judge. “I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad.”1 Van der Sloot, who
gained notoriety as the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama cheerleader Natalee Holloway while she was vacationing on the island of
Aruba, fled to Chile after the murder but was extradited to face prosecution in Peru. Prior to sentencing, attorneys for Van der Sloot asked the judge for leniency, saying
that their client killed Flores as a result of “extreme psychological trauma” that he had suffered as a result of the intense negative publicity he had received in the
international news media following Holloway’s disappearance. Rejecting his pleas, the judge imposed a sentence of 28 years in prison and ordered him to pay the Flores
family $75,000 in reparations. He will be eligible for parole in 2026.2
Social process theories draw their explanatory power from the process of interaction between individuals and society.
Social development theories focus more on individual
rates of offending and seek to understand
both increases and decreases in rates of offending
over the individual’s lifetime. Social development
theories generally use longitudinal (over time)
measurements of delinquency and offending, and
they pay special attention to the transitions
that people face as they move through the life cycle.
Most theories of social development
recognize that a critical transitional period
occurs as a person moves from childhood
Source: Schmalleger, Frank, Criminology. Printed and electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Social process theories of crime causation assume that everyone has the potential to violate the law and that criminality is not an innate human characteristic; instead,
criminal behavior is learned in interaction with others, and the socialization process occurring as the result of group membership is seen as the primary route through
which learning occurs. Among the most important groups contributing to the process of socialization are the family, peers, work groups, and reference groups with
which one identifies because they instill values and norms in their members and communicate their acceptable worldviews and patterns of behavior.
Joran van der Sloot in a Peruvian courtroom. Van der Sloot, who plead guilty to the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, remains the main suspect in the
disappearance of Alabama cheerleader Natalee Holloway. How would social process theories explain his behavior?
Social process perspectives hold that the process through which criminality is acquired, deviant self-concepts are established, and criminal behavior results is active,
open-ended, and ongoing throughout a person’s life. They suggest that individuals who have weak stakes in conformity are more likely to be influenced by the social
processes and contingent experiences that lead to crime, and that criminal choices tend to persist because they are reinforced by the reaction of society to those whom
it has identified as deviant.
Types of Social Process Approaches
A number of theories can be classified under the social process umbrella: social learning theory, social control theory, labeling theory, reintegrative shaming, and
dramaturgical perspective. Social learning theory places primary emphasis on the role of communication and socialization in the acquisition of learned patterns of
criminal behavior and the values supporting that behavior, whereas social control theory focuses on the strength of the bond people share with individuals and
institutions around them, especially as those relationships shape their behavior. Labeling theory points to the special significance of society’s response to the criminal
and sees the process through which a person comes to be defined as a criminal, along with society’s imposition of the label “criminal,” as a significant contributory
factor in future criminality. Reintegrative shaming, a contemporary offshoot of labeling theory, emphasizes possible positive outcomes of the labeling process; the
dramaturgical perspective focuses on how people can effectively manage the impressions they make on others. It is to different social learning theories that we now turn
Follow the author’s tweets about the latest crime and justice news @schmalleger.
Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory (also called learning theory) says that all behavior is learned in much the same way and that such learning includes the acquisition of norms,
values, and patterns of behaviors conducive to crime, meaning that crime is also learned and that people learn to commit crime from others. Criminal behavior is a
product of the social environment, not an innate characteristic of particular people.
One of the earliest and most influential forms of social learning theory was advanced by Edwin Sutherland in 1939, who stated that criminality is learned through a
process of differential association with others who communicate criminal values and who advocate the commission of crimes. He emphasized the role of social
learning as an explanation for crime because he believed that many concepts popular in the field of criminology at the time—including social pathology, genetic
inheritance, biological characteristics, and personality flaws,were inadequate to explain the process by which an otherwise normal individual turns to crime. Sutherland
was the first well-known criminologist to suggest that all significant human behavior is learned and that crime is not substantively different from any other form of
Although Sutherland died in 1950, the tenth edition of his famous book, Criminology, was published in 1978 under the authorship of Donald R. Cressey, a professor at
the University of California at Santa Barbara. The 1978 edition of Criminology contained the finalized principles of differential association (which, for all practical
purposes, were complete as early as 1947). Nine in number, the principles read as follows:4
THEORY | in PERSPECTIVE
Types of Social Process Theories
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