Introduction The paper focuses on the application of two theories, the Social Bond theory and Social Interactionism theory, on the increasing rates of young individuals who possess and sell drugs, as it has been emphasized by the media. The following sections will first present the findings of an article that focused on drug selling among young individuals as well as related risk behaviors and characteristics…
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Drug Selling among High School Students In an article presented by Steinman (2005) in a journal on adolescent health, high school students and their tendency to sell drugs was associated with their activities, support systems, and social institutions. For instance, those who were actively involved in school, with their family members as well as other relevant institutions, such as the church, were linked to the development of attitudes and beliefs which gave importance to traditional ideas of fulfillment and success. On the other hand, adolescents who were not involved in such groups tend to establish an oppositional identity that is focused more on autonomy and unusual objectives. Exposure to older individuals who use and sell drugs as well can further increase the likelihood for the individual to do the same. In addition, growing up in neighborhoods that provided few opportunities for employment and success was indicated as a contributing factor to drug selling among high school students. Therefore, the more that a person exhibits family involvement, achievement in school, participation in extracurricular activities, and church attendance, the less likely that he becomes involved with drug selling. The following theories on social interactionism and social bonding can further explain the associations among young individuals’ behavior, their relationships with various groups of people, and their perceptions of what is expected of them. Social Interactionism: An Overview The theory of social interactionism highlights micro-scale social interaction with which an individual behaves towards something based on the meaning which that thing has for him; such meanings are based from social interaction and can be adjusted by means of interpretation. Blumer (1969), who provided the term “symbolic interactionism”, presented three fundamental principles of the theory: first, humans act and behave towards things as based on the meanings which are attributed to those things; second, the meanings of these things is developed through social interaction which an individual experiences with the society; and third, such meanings are dealt with and may be changed by an interpretative process that is applied by the individual when handling things that he comes across with. In relation, meaning can then be referred to as something that the person assigns whereas language is created by means of social interactions. Meanwhile, thoughts can influence his interpretations. As such, researchers who make use of symbolic interactionism explore how individuals generate meaning during social interaction as well as how he creates and presents the self, and how he delineates situations in the presence of others. Fundamentally, people act in a certain way based on their definition of a situation. Social Bond Theory: An Overview The Social Bond Theory was originally developed and proposed in 1969 by Travis Hirschi. It was later on referred to as the Social Control Theory that was aimed to address and explain social problems. Before the effective application of the Social Bond Theory, it is highly important to understand its definition which has been associated with the components of social bonding, such as one’s attachment to families, their dedication to social norms and institutions, participation in activities, as well as the belief that all these things are
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