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Posted: December 17th, 2022

Social Construction

Social Construction
Answer the essay questions below in a Word document.
There are many theories regarding the social construction of serial killers. Discuss the difference in social structure, social class, social process, neutralization, social control, and labeling theories as they relate to serial killers. In your own words, provide some examples of each (1000 words).
In addition to fulfilling the specifics of the assignment, you must also meet the following criteria:
* The essay should be 3–4 pages each
* Double-spaced and in a 12-point font
* Viewpoint and purpose should be clearly established and sustained
* Assignment should follow the conventions of Standard American English (correct grammar, punctuation, etc.)
* Writing should be well ordered, logical, and unified , as well as original and insightful
* Your work should display superior content, organization, style, and mechanics
* Appropriate citation style should be followed

Social Construction
According to crime statistics in the united states, approximately twenty-thousand people in the United States are arrested of homicide yearly, where twenty percent of the cases remain unsolved. Serial killers in the united states kill five thousand people. In the twentieth century, the number of serial killers was four thousand and forty-seven hundred. A serial killer is considered a predator who kills with no apparent motive and kill with no fear of being arrested. Over the years, serial crimes have increased and become an area of major concern (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). Law enforcement, society, and criminologists have tried to develop ways of preventing and reducing serial crimes, including social construction theories, to understand the cause and nature of the social problem.
Social process theory is categorized into social learning theory, social control theory, and labeling theory. Involvement in serial crimes is a social process where criminals may learn criminal behavior. Additionally, social process theory is supported by neutralization theory and differential association theory by Sutherland, which have impacted the development of policies to control serial crimes, such as treatment (James, and Gossett, 2018). The social structure involved societal patterns of time and space, where various societal practices occur at a govern time and space according to the rhythm of social life.
Social structure and social organization have been applied since the nineteenth century, where factors such as economics, spirituality, and other ideologies, explain the cause of serial crimes. According to social structure theory, human beings from different social relations show various irregularities which are non-accidental (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). Social life is also categorized into various groups, positions, and institutions, where involvement in serial killing is considered not chaotic. Additionally, individual choices and decisions to kill a person are driven by various social environment and social groups. According to social construction, human beings do not have the free will to make choices because the social environment dictates and influences decision making.
On the other hand, social class theory or the class theory was first created in the early nineteenth century by philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke. According to Karl Marx, what makes society different from another is production, for instance, technology and labor (James, and Gossett, 2018). According to Marxist, the upper, lower, and middle classes determine involvement in serial crimes. Individuals from a lower class have low access to education, hence not making sound decisions. Individuals from lower social classes tend to have psychological and emotional issues that would drive a person to conduct malice (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). Individuals from the upper class have many opportunities, such as job opportunities, health services, and access to recreational services, hence having mental stability.
On the other side, neutralization theory by David Matza states that crime and deviance are driven by various justifications, such as blaming others, vandalism, and comparing the level of criminal acts with others. Neutralization theory seeks to explain that an individual involved in a serial crime depends on justifying a wrongful act through the reality that the act might be acceptable according to various societal conditions (James, and Gossett, 2018). A person can commit a serial act out of societal justification that people commit even serious crimes, or regardless of the act, the individual was not harmed. Serial killers tend to kill mercilessly based on certain societal conditions, such as believing the individual deserved to be dead.
On the other hand, social control theory involves concepts such as social learning, self-control, and socialization. According to social control theory, an individual’s involvement in serial crime is determined by beliefs, values, and norms. Morality is influenced by the construction of social order and the results of various decisions. An individual; can engage in serial crimes after learning from the environment due to a lack of values and societal norms that could restrict involvement in serial killing (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). On the other hand, people with low self-control tend to be easily influenced by peers and emotions. Letting emotions of anger and aggression may make a person commit serial crimes to satisfy the emotions or actions.
Socialization and relationships with others tend to influence involvement in serial crimes, for instance, having a close relationship with a criminal such as a robber or a gang leader. Also, associating with violent people may affect an individual’s morality leading one into violent acts or making bad decisions, such as killing a person without fear of arrest or thinking of the consequences. In contrast, labeling theory, also known as the symbolic interactionism theory, states that society and theorists label or view various acts as deviant. Several corrections and punishments may impact criminality (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). An individual may engage in serial crimes due to social reactions about the act, where how an individual reacts to a situation dictates whether the act is a crime. Individuals are driven by certain societal rules which create stability in the society. A serial killer in society is viewed as a criminal, hence incarcerated because killing a person without motive is unacceptable.
Social killers’ criminal process is well defined through sociological thinking, where serial killers use various social realities to avoid being blamed for their actions. Serial killers tend to imagine various actions before acting according to the neutralization theory. For instance, a serial killer involved in killing a prostitute may explain that killing the individual was a way of eliminating immorality in society (Downes, Rock, and McLaughlin, 2016). Serial killers tend not to have social control, mostly from a low-class society, disorganized society, and their involvement in crime is influenced by social learning and socialization. To understand serial killer, integrating social construction theories tend to provide a full spectrum of the issue, such as integrating psychology.

Downes, D., Rock, P. E., & McLaughlin, E. (2016). Understanding deviance: a guide to the sociology of crime and rule-breaking. Oxford University Press.
James, V., & Gossett, J. (2018). Of monsters and men: Exploring serial murderers’ discourses of neutralization. Deviant Behavior, 39(9), 1120-1139.

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