Social Interactionist Theory

Better Essays
Topics: Police, Crime
The Social Interactionist Theory is a term used to describe how people react to toward things or events based on what they think that particular situation means to them (Stevens, pg 62, 2011). This theory explains in many ways why some criminals act hostile toward police officers even in instances where an arrest was not initially necessary, human beings act toward things on the basis of the meaning they have (http://www.csun.edu/~whw2380/542/Symbolic%20Interactionism%20Lecture.htm). In a study performed by John Kavanagh, he investigated over 1,000 arrests made in New York City’s bus terminal, and the study found that in most cases the police officer was in some disrespected by the suspect which resulted in the arrest. This study proves that in a lot of misdemeanor cases the law violation isn’t the determining factor in the arrest it’s the level of respect demonstrated by the suspect (Stevens, pg 62, 2011). In some cases the social interactionist theory can also explain why some police officers go into a certain situation with disrespectful or vigilante attitude.

Tact deployments are usually unannounced raids on homes or areas that police believe is in involved in some kind of illegal activity and too dangerous to send in your typical uniform officers. In many of these raids the suspects feel violated and disrespected, at times innocent bystanders are confronted and the wrong areas are targeted, both of these factors cause citizens to lase out toward police officers and increase the level of disrespect. These individuals tend to feel that they are being targeted because of the neighborhood or because they are of a certain race (Cole, and Smith, 2009 pg 189).When the police suspects or innocent bystanders feel they have been violated they typically feel they have ground for forming a grievance or even pursuing legal action(Stevens, pg 62, 2011). The police not only receive disrespect from people in underprivileged areas they also are disrespected by



References: Smith E., Christopher, and Cole F. George. American System of Criminal Justice, The. 2009. Stevens J., Dennis. Media and criminal justice: the CSI effect. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. "Symbolic Interactionism Theory ." http://www.csun.edu/~whw2380/542/Symbolic%20Interactionism%20Lecture.htm. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Mar 2011 Stevens J., Dennis. Media and criminal justice: the CSI effect. Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011 Cappel P., Robert. S.W.A.T. team manual. Paladin Pr, 1979.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Social Interactionist Perspective &; Crime As crime continues to occur, criminologists begin to define new theories to explain our seemingly naturalistic tendencies on what mental processes take place for an individual to actually partake in criminal activity. The symbolic interactionist perspective defines itself by its strong beliefs in the fact that criminals are defined by their social processes. The social process theory states that criminality is a function of people’s interactions with…

    • 1020 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    one another (Kendall, 349)." There are many different types of interactions that take place in the dormitory. Interactions between female and female along with female and male students. The Interactionist Theory is clearly seen at the dorm. <br> <br>The setting is an important part of the Interactionist Theory ( The sociological approach that views society as the sum of the interactions of individuals and groups (Kendall, 489)) of observation. It determines how and…

    • 1361 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    In this manner, it can be said that symbolic-interactionist theories of wrongdoing are concerned less with qualities than with the path in which social implications and definitions can create reprobate conduct. The suspicion, obviously, is that these implications and definitions, these symbolic varieties, influence behaviour. Besides, initial forms of symbolic-interactionist theories concentrated on how young people obtained these implications and definitions from others, particularly peers; all…

    • 1157 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Conflict and Interactionist Approaches to Policing When it comes to policing the community two approaches that are important to study are conflict and the interactionist approaches. In this paper, I will discuss why these two approaches are of great importance in policing. The first approach I will discuss is going to be the conflict theory. “The conflict theory is based upon the view that the fundamental causes of crime are the social and economic forces operating within society.”( http://www…

    • 545 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Symbolic Interactionist

    • 704 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Media Analysis University of Phoenix Symbolic Interactionist Perspective Media Analysis People often use nonverbal communication through meaningful objects or behaviors such as facial expressions, gestures, body language, symbols, clothing articles, and posture standings to interact and communicate his or her idea or opinion. These meaningful objects and behaviors are viewed as a sociological framework called symbolic interactionism. The receiving…

    • 704 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    unstable and unable to leave the facility. It is interesting to note that only two people in mental hospital have to be there, the others are free to leave when they feel they are healed. Nurse Rachet is using what has been defined as the labeling theory. Nurse Rachet is in a position of power, which makes the labels she gives the characters hold true not only to outsiders, but also to the characters themselves. "Once a person is designated abnormal, all of his other behaviors and characteristics…

    • 798 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The interactionist perceptive focuses on the role society and social interactions have on participating in drug abuse. Drug users learn motivations and techniques of drug use through interaction with others. Also if you are labeled a drug user you are more likely to continue your drug use and can become even worse.…

    • 52 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Social inequality is the issue pertaining to the lack of housing, health care, education, employment opportunities, and status. It is the dismissal of people from participation in what we, the members of society distinguish as being valuable, important, socially desirable, and personally worthwhile. There are many different perspectives on social inequality within our society; the three areas I am going to focus on are those of the Functionalist, Conflict and Symbolic-Interactionist. The Functionalist…

    • 685 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Functionalist and Symbolic Interactionist Functionalist and Symbolic Interactionist SO1050 Sociology Functionalist, also known as structural functionalism because of its views on the ways social structures accompanies social needs. In perspective, functionalism structures social influences by what is visible and in demand now. (Boundless.com/Sociology)Functionalism has been criticized for downplaying the role of individual action…

    • 701 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Symbolic Interactionist

    • 339 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Majority of our personality is shaped by nurture. It is the environment you grew up and how you interact with people that help you adjust to what your character will be. Every day we communicate with others and in each interaction, we give meanings to things and sometimes adapt what others feel about it. We take time to think about what we would like to be. I often envision a person that is strong and independent as my role model and goal. It is true that when you are surrounded by people doing the…

    • 339 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays