Jeffrey Dahmer and Social Control Theory

Jeffrey Dahmer and Social Control Theory

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  • Date Submitted: 06/05/2009 8:29 AM
  • Category: Psychology
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Jeffrey Dahmer and the Contemporary Social Control Theory
Laura L. Russell
CJ501 Criminological Theory
Professor John D. Tourtelot
May 19, 2009

Serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer was an intensely troubled child who grew up to become an increasingly disturbed and ultimately unstable adult. This behavior was evidenced through his killing of 17 young men in serial fashion between 1978 and 1991. Throughout his childhood, Jeffrey Dahmer was ignored and developed a self-perception as an outcast, rejected by society. This isolation and sense of rejection grew until it fuelled his drive to commit the heinous crimes of murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism. According to interviews with his neighbors in print and televised media, Jeffrey Dahmer was actually well-received; recalled as a why, normal, next-door kind of guy whom people were fond of (Rosin and Plotz, 1999). This is a deviation from Jeffrey's own sense of who he truly versus his true place in society. This term paper will show how Jeffrey Dahmer's complete metamorphosis from a likeable man into a mass murderer can be explained by contemporary social control bond theory, supported through the review of an article in the New York Times entitled: "17 Killed, and a Life is Searched for Clues" (Barron and Tabor, 1991).

Jeffrey Dahmer and the Contemporary Social Control Theory
After a long and difficult pregnancy, Jeffrey Dahmer was born on May 21, 1960 to Lionel and Joyce Dahmer and the small family started their lives in an upper-middle class community located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Ohio History, 2009). In 1960, when Joyce Dahmer gave birth to Jeffrey, his father, Lionel Dahmer, was attending a college located in Milwaukee, where he graduated in 1962 with a degree in electrical engineering. After his graduation, Lionel decided to move his small family to a city in Iowa where he wanted to continue his educational pursuit in analytical chemistry. In 1966,...

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