Social Construction of Serial Killers

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Social Construction of Serial Killers
Allan Beberniss
Deviance and Violence
CJ266-01 / 1301A
April 1st, 2013
In this essay we will cover the different theories that try to shed some light on how or what creates a serial killer. These theories include social structure, social class, social process, neutralization, social control and labeling theories. As it is nearly impossible to group all serial killers into any one theory, I will look at the similarities and differences between these theories to find some root concepts that are behind all of them as a whole. First of all let’s examine social structure, social structure focuses on an individuals standing within the social community, their job, their financial situation, and their overall happiness with the level of success they have achieved will determine whether they will commit crime or not. Because higher levels of success exist within areas that have an abundance of jobs there are more people attracted to these areas. Where many people are present social labeling occurs. Within this social community walls are created to block social gain from certain ethnic, racial, or other labeled groups of individuals that the society does not perceive as deserving of gain. This in turn results in pursuing of criminal acts to achieve financial success. It is believed through this theory that the serial killer is attracted to such areas because “High-density populations increase the probability of victimization because of impersonalization and frequent encounters with strangers” (Hickey, n.d.). For example, homeless people, prostitutes, and hitch hikers congregate in these types of areas to beg from as many people as possible. Because homeless people, prostitutes, hitch hikers and sometimes people that are just easily manipulated are targets for serial killers, this could provide some reasoning to where the majority of serial killers are present. Now, social class suggests that serial murder is performed...
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