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Social Psychology - Delinquency - Essay Example

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Social Psychology - Delinquency

The decision to shoplift is driven from within by the thought processes of the individual, placing it squarely in the realm of psychology as part of the social exchange theory (Brehm, Kassin, & Fein, 2005). Along a similar line it is possible that the individual engaged in shoplifting in order to gain items that would create the perception of financial success so prized in our society. The pressure to act came from outside the individual and is an example of the structural-functional theory of sociology (Zappen, 1998).
What if an equal emphasis comes from outside the individual Perhaps the shoplifter has many friends, peers, and role models that shoplift. The saying birds of a feather would point to the sad fact that the individual would eventually be labeled as a shoplifter by association. So if people expect the individual to shoplift he will be more likely to do so. Or so the labeling theory would have us believe (Sociological theory, 2008). It could also be argued that shoplifters learn the behavior from their peers as explained by the social learning theory of psychology. When an individual repeatedly sees a behavior being done it becomes the norm for him and engaging in it is not seen by the individual as deviant, delinquent or criminal.
A similar method can be used to dis ...Show more


A multitude of theories exist in sociology and psychology to explain crime and delinquent acts. "Where as a crime is an act that breaks criminal code which is created by society though written law, delinquency and deviance can be acts that merely break 'cultural law' or norms." (Zappen, 1998)…
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Social Psychology - Delinquency essay example
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