Throughout the years criminologists have tried to come up with explanations for what makes individuals more prone to engage in criminal activity. The explanations can range from labels given to individuals to the bonds individuals have with others. Over the years, the theories have been tweaked and integrated to help gain a better understanding of why individuals commit crimes. Some theories also call for explanation on how to reduce crime in the future as well. Everything in society is caused by something, which produces the effect. The cause is generally what goes unknown most of the time. This paper will analyze Labeling Theory and Social Bond Theory. First I will clearly describe the components of both theories. After comparing and contrasting the theories, I will critique them addressing the pros and cons of both theories. Lastly, I will summarize what I learned about both of the theories.
The foundation of labeling theory lies in the hands of sociologists George Herbert Mead and Charles Horton Cooley. Cooley developed the term “looking glass self”. The “looking glass self” concept is when we see ourselves through the perspectives of others. In 1934, George Herbert Mead extended the concept of “looking glass self” with the thought of behavior being framed by the individual and the perceptions of others through interactions. According to the labeling theory when a crime noticed and an individual is punished, the individual will continue to engage in the delinquent behavior. An individual will feel as though they have a label to live up to (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis, 2013).
An example of the labeling theory would be a young teenager who is actively i...
... middle of paper ...
...oth theories a step further. Also, this paper helped me to understand the concept of bonds. I learned the different bonds under Social Bond Theory. Hirschi explains how all the bonds are equally distributed among an individual.
Lastly one thing that stuck out the most to me the way the theories is categorized. Labeling theory is considered a social reaction theory. I clearly understand the definition based off the criteria of social reaction theories. I learned that theories are categorized into different categories based off the definitions of the theories. Lastly, I learned that theories of crime are broken down into groups, which consist of; deterrence and rational choice theories of crime, individual theories of crime, social structure theories of crime, social process theories of crime, and social reaction theories of crime (Brown, Esbensen, and Geis, 2013).
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