History of Social Thought

On October 27, 1994, Susan Smith watched her burgundy Mazda
Protege roll into the watery depths of John D. Long Lake carrying
her two sons, Michael, 3, and his 14-month-old brother, Alexander
Henderson and Fields 1995).One can only wonder what could have
caused a mother to intentionally murder her two beautiful baby
boys.The motive seemed to be that Susan Smith's wealthy
boyfriend did not want the children.She also stated in her
handwritten confession that she knew he would never love her
(Smith 1994).I can only speculate that she meant he would never
love her as long as she had children.However, I believe that
Susan must have been deeply disturbed to commit such a horrible
In order to better understand this unthinkable act, I chose
to use the psychoanalytic theory from the psychological
perspective.I think this theory can describe Susan's behavior
better than the cognitive consistency theory because the id, ego,
and super-ego seem to observe mental processes more than the
cognitive consistency theory does.Using the cognitive
consistency theory would make it more difficult to observe the
mental processes of Susan Smith that I believe are necessary to
understand this crime (Lecture notes, psychological perspective,
cognitive consistency theory).I will also use the social
learning theory under the behavioral perspective because I believe
positive and negative reinforcement can make it more clear as to
why Susan Smith killed her children.I chose not to use the
social exchange theory because, in this case, Susan Smith is not

negotiating anything as social exchange theory explains.It also
tends to be a hedonistic view of the human (Lecture notes,
behavioral perspective, social exchange theory, 2000).The last
theory that will be discussed from the sociological perspective is
the role theory.I believe that it is a most obvious concept that

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