2. Discuss the key ideas of social learning theory. Discuss the distinctions
and similarities between Akers's differential reinforcement and
Sutherland's differential association theory. Use examples from lectures
and readings in your answer.
Social Learning Theory
▪ results of socialization
▪ role of environment over internal causes
▪ symbolic interaction
▪ live in a world of meaning
▪ influences of people on other people
"Modern" Social Learning Theory
▪ Crime is learned
▪ Social relations influence behaviour
Edwin Sutherland (1883-1950): Theory if Differential Association
▪ 2 elements of learning :
▪ content: ideas about doing crime
▪ process: association with others
▪ ties to symbolic interaction
▪ skill set and meanings have to be learned
▪ crime occurs when there is and excess of definitions leaning toward crime
▪ nine propositions (p. 48-49)
⁃ community or group organization regulates rates of crime
⁃ delinquent values are transmitted from one generation to the next
⁃ come is "culturally transmitted"
⁃ criminal behaviour is learned through social interactions
⁃ views of crime- weather criminal or conventional influences are stronger in a
persons life- determines whether the person embraces crime as an
acceptable way of life.
Criticisms of Differential Association
▪ measuring "excess of definitions"
▪ too simplistic
▪ crimes of passion (and impulsivity)
▪ individualistic explanations?
One Response: Ronald Akers &Differential Reinforcement Theory
▪ uses operant conditioning and imitation/ modeling
▪ blend of so