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Social Learning Theories 1.Differential Association Theory 2.Akers’ Social Learning Theory.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Learning Theories 1.Differential Association Theory 2.Akers’ Social Learning Theory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Learning Theories 1.Differential Association Theory 2.Akers’ Social Learning Theory

2 Differential Association Theory Edwin H. Sutherland (1939) Sutherland's theory departs from the psychological perspective and biological perspective by attributing the cause of crime to the social context of individuals

3 Differential association

4 “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.. “

5 Diagnose Your Network You can map the connections you have with other people to determine the network you currently have Write down the names of the most important contacts in your network—people you rely on for the exchange of private information, specialized expertise, advice, and inspiration/emotional support

6 Diagnose Your Network After you identify your key contacts, think about how you first meet them (make sure to write down the names of someone who introduced you to this contact) + who they are and where they are from.

7 Two things to look at Self-similarity principle –we tend to choose people who resemble us in terms of experience, training, worldview, and so on. Proximity principle- people with similar background, experience, etc tend to live in the neighborhood, go to the same school, work at the same department, etc.

8 Differential Association Theory 1.Criminal behavior is learned. 2.Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication. 3.The principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups.

9 Differential Association Theory 4. When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes –(a) techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes very simple; –(b) the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes.

10 Differential Association Theory 5. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. 6. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violations of law.

11 A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law If DFC/DUC > 1.0, DFC = weighted definitions favorable to crime DUC = weighted definitions unfavorable to crime

12 Differential Association Theory 7.Differential associations may vary in –frequency, –duration, –priority, –intensity.

13 Differential Association Theory 8. The process of learning criminal behavior and anticriminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning. 9. While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those general needs and values, since noncriminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values.

14 Ronald Akers: Central concepts of Differential Reinforcement Theory Differential association (groups provide major social context for learning) Definitions (attitudes/meanings) Differential reinforcement (anticipated/actual rewards and punishments) Imitation

15 Main Concepts Differential association refers to direct association and interaction with others who engage in certain kinds of behavior or express norms, values, and attitudes supportive of such behavior, as well as the indirect association and identification with more distant reference groups.

16 Inner city

17 Suburb

18 Main Concepts Definitions are one’s own orientations, rationalizations, justifications, excuses, and other attitudes that define the commission of an act as relatively more right or wrong, good or bad, desirable or undesirable, justified or unjustified, appropriate or inappropriate.

19 Definitions General Definitions - include religious, moral, and other conventional values and norms that are favorable to conforming behavior Specific Definitions orient the person to particular acts. Thus, one may believe that stealing is bad, but stealing from bad people/drug dealers is O.K.

20 Definitions Unfavorable to Crime “Crime doesn’t pay.” “Marijuana causes brain damage and leads to cocaine and heroin.” “Turn the other cheek when insulted.” “Always be a law abiding citizen and you’ll be respected.” “Don’t drink and drive – you can hurt someone.” “Don’t throw your life away by breaking the law!” “Sinners will be damned for eternity.” “Never rat on a fellow criminal or hold out on them.”

21 Definitions Favorable to Crime “The Justice Department should be going after real criminals, not me!” “It’s technically not sex if there isn’t penetration and if you don’t touch her!” “I can drive after five beers, no problem.” “If someone questions your manhood, you have to stand up for yourself.”

22 Main concepts Differential Reinforcement refers to the balance of anticipated or actual rewards and punishments that follow Whether individuals will refrain from or commit a crime at any given time depends on the balance of past, present, and anticipated future rewards and punishments for their actions.

23 Main concepts Imitation refers to the engagement in behavior after the direct or indirect (e.g. in media depictions) observation of similar behavior by others Whether or not the behavior modeled by others will be imitated is affected by the characteristics of the models, the behavior observed, and the observed consequences of the behavior

24 White-collar crime Introduced by Edwin H. Sutherland during his presidential address at the American Sociological Society Meeting in 1939 White-collar crime “may be defined approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” (p. 9)

25 Occupational Crime Occupational crime occurs when crimes are committed to promote personal interests Crimes that fall into this category include altering books by accountants and overcharging or cheating clients by lawyers

26 Sutherland’s explanation College graduate without history of criminal behavior High level aspirations/ambitions Aren't in deviant peers groups, and aren't poor They live well-ordered lives for the most part; They are well respected at work and in community Cheating clients by lawyers New attitudes, drives, and rationalizations

27 Sutherland’s explanation Many major corporations require their employees to lie, cheat, steal and betray customers, competitors, inspectors and other employees If the company steals from customers; if the company violates pollution laws; if the company converts pension plans to corporate purpose, the moral base is lost and, being lost, renders the company fair game to the dis-enchanted employee Follow the group/ leave/outlier

28 Crime Rates Predicted by Differential Social Organization

29 Distribution of Definitions of Crime

30 Question to think…. Where did the first criminal come from?


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