Explore BrainMass

Social Forces and Crime

I need help getting started.

Locate from, a criminal from one of the following links: Serial Killers, Notorious Murder Cases, Gangsters and Outlaws, The Criminal Mind, or Terrorists, Spies and Assassins. Read the biography of your chosen criminal. Discuss the link between socialization references in the research you conduct and the theories in the text. You may use additional resources to research the criminal. Include the following points:

What kind of family life might the criminal have had?
What educational background did he or she have?
What type of peer relations did he or she have?
What measures, if any, might have been taken to avoid this crime?
In your opinion, how strong is the link between social forces and crime? Explain your answer. (700-1050 words)

Solution Preview


Have you considered which criminal you would like to focus? Go to the website www.crimelibray and click on serial killer - the top tab.

One approach to help you with an essay assignment like this one is to address each questions, which can act as a tentative outline for the paper. It will have an Introduction (thesis or purpose statement) Body (questions), and Conclusion (restate thesis or purpose statement in different wording, sum up main points), like all academic papers.

Let's look at Charles Manson.


1. What kind of family life might the criminal have had?

Charles Manson was born 12 November 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His 16-year-old mother, Kathleen Maddox was promiscuous, a criminal, drank too much and failed to take care of her illegitimate child. Soon after his birth, Kathleen was briefly married to William Manson, and Charlie's last name changed from Maddox to Manson. Kathleen grew up in a strict religious home and seemed to rebel against all she was taught. In 1940, she was found guilty of Strong Armed Robbery and sent to prison.He probable had mixed childhood messages. For example, six-year-old Manson was moved to various relatives. His grandmother subjected him to the fanatical religious standards, from which his mother fled. One uncle he stayed with decided Manson was too feminine, so dressed him as a girl for his first day of school. Another uncle, while caring for Manson, killed himself in protest to the authorities taking his land. There were no consistent modes of behavior for Manson to live by, a fact that carried into his adulthood.

In fact, a story Manson often told described the lack of care his mother showed him. "Mom was in a cafe one afternoon with me on her lap. The waitress, a would-be mother without a child of her own, jokingly told my Mom she'd buy me from her. Mom replied, 'A pitcher of beer and he's yours.' The waitress set up the beer, Mom stuck around long enough to finish it off and left the place without me. Several days later my uncle had to search the town for the waitress and take me home." Mom also choose boyfriend over Manson. For example, Charlie and his mother were ...

Solution Summary

The biography of a specific criminal links socialization processes to criminal behavior through various social factors e.g., family life, educational background, peer relations, potential interventions that might have prevented the criminal behavior. The strength of the relationship between social forces and crime is also explored.