Social process theory is a theoretical framework used to explain the social processes that shape human behavior. This theory suggests that people’s behavior is influenced by the social interactions they have with others, as well as the cultural and social norms in their environment.
One popular example of social process theory is Edwin Sutherland’s differential association theory. This theory suggests that people learn deviant behavior through their interactions with others who engage in such behavior. For instance, if someone grows up in an environment where crime is normalized and accepted, they are more likely to engage in criminal behavior themselves.
Another example of social process theory is Robert Merton’s strain theory. This theory suggests that people engage in deviant behavior when they are unable to achieve their goals through legitimate means. For instance, someone who is unable to find a job may turn to crime as a way to make money.
Social process theory also emphasizes the importance of socialization in shaping human behavior. Socialization refers to the process through which individuals learn the cultural and societal norms that guide their behavior. For instance, children learn how to behave appropriately through interactions with their parents, peers, and other members of society.
In addition, social process theory highlights the role of institutions such as schools, churches, and government agencies in shaping human behavior. These institutions provide formal and informal opportunities for individuals to interact with others who share similar values and beliefs.
Overall, social process theory provides a valuable framework for understanding how social interactions shape human behavior. By recognizing the importance of cultural and societal norms in influencing individual choices and actions, we can better understand why some people engage in deviant or criminal behavior while others do not.