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Chapter 7 Social Process Theories: Learning, Control and Reaction. Criminology 8 th edition Larry J. Siegel. Social Process Theories. Theories which are based on the concept that an individual’s socialization determines the likelihood of criminality.
Criminology 8th edition
Larry J. Siegel
© 2003 Wadsworth Publishing Co.
Theories which are based on the concept
that an individual’s socialization
determines the likelihood of criminality.
According to social process theories,
all people, regardless of their race, class, or gender, have the potential to become delinquent or criminals.
Elements of family, peer group, school, and church
contribute to the socialization process.
Does delinquency cause educational failure?Or,Does educational failure cause delinquency?
If criminal behavior is learned,
how do learning theorists account
for the origin of criminal definitions?
How do learning theorists explain spontaneous and wanton acts of violence and damage?
Control theories maintain
that all people have potential to become criminals
but that bonds to conventional society
prevent them from violating the law.
A person’s bond to society prevents him or her from violating social rules. If the bond weakens,
the person is free to commit crime.
Explains the onset of crime; can apply to both middle- and lower-class crime. Explains its theoretical constructs adequately so they can be measured.
Has been empirically tested.
Emprical studies revealed a strong support for
Hirschi’s control theory:
This theory holds that criminality is promoted
by becoming negatively labeled
by significant others,
in other words –
when people are labeled for their acts,
they organize their personalities around the labels.
Decision to Label
Detection by the Justice System
Initial Criminal Act
Creation of a New Identity
According to the previous diagram,
is labeling a “cause” of crime
the “effect” of crime?
This theory holds that the law is
differentially applied –
it favors those in power in a particular society.
It identifies the role played by social control agents in crime causation.
It recognizes that criminality is not a disease of pathological behavior.
It distinguishes between criminal acts and criminalcareers.
It is unable to specify the conditions that must exist before an act or individual is labeled deviant.
It fails to explain differences in crime rates.
It ignores the onset of deviant behavior.Is Labeling Theory Valid?