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Social Theories

There are three different groups of social theories: social process theories, social development theories, and social conflict theories. These theories are discussed, basically including the primary differences between the three perspectives and the shortcomings of each. Suggestions include the kinds of social policy initiatives that might be developed to reduce crime according to each perspective. Weaknesses and recommendations for improvement are included.
The Social Development Theory the belief is that a child's cognitive behavior begins on a social level in the child's relationships with others and leads to an individual concept inside himself. Weaknesses and suggestions for improvement in this area are discussed.
Two different emphases occur in the Conflict Perspective. They both purport that there are two social classes and their interests are opposite. One group believes that power comes through ownership, but the other attributes power to those in authority and that power is not necessarily the same according to the institution in which it exists. Again, the weaknesses are discussed along with suggestions for improvements.
Finally, social policy initiatives are suggested that could reduce crime and recidivism.

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THE SOCIAL PROCESS THEORIES
These theories regard how people "interpret and define their social reality" and what they believe their verbal interaction with others means. This can include what their reality is with peer pressure, family, success or failure in their education, and other relationships that could lead to deviance. In other words, it is about their relationships with their environment.
The Social Disorganization Theory is based upon the belief that social behavior deviates when residential areas become industrialized and urbanized. This urbanization results in conflicts of values and norms, mobility, culture, and weak relationships. Sutherland's (1939) idea of differential association basically refers to associating intimately with those from whom they find deviant behavior favorable (Lisk and Messner, 1999; Sutherland and Cressey, 1970; Sutherland, 1939). Social control may be associated with disorganization, but mainly focuses on how the "weakening of conventional social ties . . . leads to a weakening of conventional controls.
The problem with these theories is that they do not consider the effect of the market, those who are influential, the dynamics of neighborhoods, and funds to support organizations in the community.
Encouraging the development of close-knit communities with mutual goals inside urban areas could result in crime prevention and reduction in ...

Solution Summary

There are three different groups of social theories: social process theories, social development theories, and social conflict theories. These theories are discussed, basically including the primary differences between the three perspectives and the shortcomings of each. Suggestions include the kinds of social policy initiatives that might be developed to reduce crime according to each perspective.

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