About This Chapter
Social Structure & Social Process Theories in Criminology - Chapter Summary
In these engaging lessons, our instructors outline the social process and social structure theories used in criminology. Topics covered include the Chicago School's social disorganization theory, the concept of secondary deviance and the social control theory of criminology. Each lesson is followed by a multiple-choice quiz that works well to help you prepare for a test or assess whether you've understood what you just learned. You can easily create offline study guides with our printable lesson transcripts. This chapter is designed to help you do the following:
- List the features of sociological theories of crime
- Detail the theoretical perspectives associated with sociological theories of deviance
- Define racial, gender and economic disparity
- Look at the Chicago School's social disorganization theory
- Give examples of Merton's strain theory
- Explain what social process theories are
- Understand the origins of the social control theory
- Discuss the social learning theory of crime
- Differentiate between symbolic interactionism and structural functionalism
- Outline social-conflict and labeling theories
- Describe how stigma and labeling are related
- Understand examples of secondary deviance
1. Sociological Theories of Crime: Overview & Features
Why do crime rates vary from community to community? In this lesson, we'll take a look at sociological theories of criminology, including the social learning and social conflict theories and sociological programs to prevent crime.
2. Sociological Theories of Deviance: Definitions and Theoretical Perspectives
There is a diverse range of behaviors in society that goes against expectations and cultural norms. In this lesson, we define and go over some examples of the different types of deviance. We also discuss two sociological theories about deviance created by Emile Durkheim and Robert Merton.
3. Definition of Economic, Racial & Gender Disparity
In this lesson, we'll discuss what economic, racial, and gender disparities are and how they impact those who interact with the criminal justice system in the United States.
4. The Chicago School's Social Disorganization Theory
Why do some neighborhoods have higher crime rates than others? What elements make a community vulnerable to crime? Watch this lesson to find out about the Chicago School of Criminology and the social disorganization theory of crime.
5. Merton's Strain Theory: Definition & Examples
Robert Merton (1910-2003) argued that society may be set up in a way that encourages too much deviance. Learn more about Robert Merton's strain theory and test your knowledge with a quiz.
6. Social Process Theories in Criminology
In this lesson, we will discuss the concept of social process in criminology. We will also look at how it relates to symbolic interactionism and how this framework is used in several different criminological theories.
7. The Social Control Theory of Criminology: Origins & Development
When studying crime, many people ask questions about what causes criminals to commit crimes. But some people instead ask why people stay within the bounds of the law. In this lesson, we'll examine the social control theories of criminology.
8. The Social Learning Theory of Crime
How much do your friends influence your behavior? In this lesson, we'll examine the social learning theory of criminology, including the ideas of differential association and differential reinforcement, and when the tenets of social learning theory are most likely to happen.
9. Theories of Crime: Symbolic Interactionism vs. Structural Functionalism
Sociologists use several theories to study society and societal issues, such as crime and deviance. This lesson examines the symbolic interactionism and structural functionalism perspectives and gives examples of each.
10. Labeling Theory and Crime: Stigma & Retrospective and Projective Labeling
Labeling others is common in our society. In this lesson, we discuss the specifics of labeling theory, including when and why people are labeled. We also distinguish between retroactive and projective labeling and briefly discuss Travis Hirschi's control theory.
11. Secondary Deviance: Definition & Examples
This lesson will cover secondary deviance as well as illustrate the difference between secondary deviance and primary deviance. Some examples of each will be given.
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Other chapters within the Criminal Justice 104: Introduction to Criminology course
- Intro to Criminology
- Crime Categories, Characteristics & Elements
- Measuring Crime through Criminal Justice Research
- Crime Patterns & Trends
- Victimization in Criminal Justice
- Rational Choice & Trait Theories in Criminology
- Social Conflict Theories & Restorative Justice
- Developmental Theories of Crime
- Overview of Violent Crime
- Types of Murder
- Types of Sex Crimes
- Basics of Property Crime
- Economic & Public Order Crimes
- Crimes of Moral Turpitude
- Political Crime & Terrorism
- Understanding Cyber Crime
- American Criminal Justice Systems
- Law Enforcement in America
- Punishment & Corrections
- Studying for Criminal Justice 104