If moral codes are integrated into the individuals’ life, and they have a stake in their wider community, they will voluntarily limit their probability to commit deviant acts or crime. The theory seeks to understand the ways in which it is possible to reduce the likelihood of criminality developing in individuals. Finally the labeling theory “labels” the deviant acts or crimes. Socially these gives the crime or act a face which makes the offender recognizable by his other act rather than the content of their character prior to the deviant act. Learning theory has been widely discussed in my forums, being taught to be a deviant is the basis of a criminal at its purest form.
Though both social learning and social control theories address the socialization process, social learning theory maintains that humans are inherently good and are therefore taught delinquent behavior through the socialization process, just as they are any other behavior (McNamara 2014: pp. 115). Social learning theory holds that people become involved in criminal activity when the reasons, called definitions, to commit crime outweigh the definitions to abstain from it, which is normally determined by one’s social affiliations (McNamara 2014: pp. 118). For example, if a teenage boy hangs out with criminals and learns criminal behavior (including its rationalizations and reward) from them, then he will likely engage in criminal behavior because he will have more definitions for it than against it, according to the theory (McNamara 2014: pp.
People are not hired wired to make bad decisions; some theories suggest that people learn to engage in criminal behavior the same way they learn other behavior. These theories, known as social learning theories, are used to explain patterns of behavior and the learning processes behind crime. Social learning theories stem from Shaw and McKay’s social disorganization, and cultural transmission theories help explain why crime is more prevalent, accepted, and tolerated in certain areas than others (Lecture). Edwin Sutherland developed the theory of differential association (Cullen text, CH10). He theorized that crime is learned through interactions with others, and people learn to commit crime because of “an excess of favorable definitions
This theory “affirm[s] the importance of criminal contact as a means for learning how to offend” (McCarthy). Most people do not wake up one day and decide to start being criminals. Most of the time, that person has friends and acquaintances around them already doing criminal acts. That person might think that the acts are criminal and bad but, after a while of hanging around them, especially if they never get in trouble, the deviant acts will look more normal. People become “delinquents because of an excess of definition favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law”
A person will learn the act of crime from what is observed from the other person and this may be a neighbor, relative, family member or any other person that they share something in common with. In some cases, this may come from the peer pressure where individuals will be forced to learn on different ways of committing crime from each other. For instance, a youth may simply feel left behind by the age-mates within their community who are well conversant with criminal activities and decide to as well learn on how crime is done. The other aspect that may drive someone towards learning criminal activities is the issue of social gaps that exist within our society. Social conflict is brought about the big wealth gaps and class warfare (Helfgott, 2008).
Some criminals begin this stage during childhood in which they meet up with mentors to learn to become successful criminals and to achieve the greatest reward for their efforts. These mentors teach the kids how to pick locks, shoplift, and how to obtain and use drugs. Another principle of differential association theory concludes that a person’s perceptions of the legal code influences motives and drives (Siegel, 2012, p. 237). This principle insinuates that criminals perceive the legal code as favorable or unfavorable. The legal codes do not fall into conformity among all citizens in a specified society and a person is almost certain to come across another person who views obeying the law differently.
We will compare both crime theories. It will also explain how these theories are related to specific crimes. The two theories discussed will also explain the policy implications. Finally, we will address what types of programs can be created to mitigate specific crimes related to the causation theories. Social learning theory is the theory that people learn from other people.
For instance, an alleged criminal suspected of a crime has been convicted and this reinforces the views that the system can protect and serve the community. Society admires the idea of convicting people rather than letting them into the society again and risking the danger that can happen. In many cases, officers and prosecutors will use their power to arrest and indict the person that best fits the description of the suspect of the crime. Therefore, the alleged criminal will most likely be convicted based on the description and circumstances of the individual. However, this plainly shows that the system fails to aid the innocent who were merely in the wrong place at the wrong
This paper describe about different types of control theories and the application of control theory in real world context. Social control theory is based on philosophical principles that individuals automatically would commit crime if they left alone with situation. In other words, we, all are born with criminal characteristics and learn to follow laws as we grow in society. Many sociologist and criminologist have suggested that acceptance of social norms and beliefs are a vital evidence of someone is a reputed member in society or a criminal. Control theories not only use to evaluate delinquent behavior of the juvenile populations, but also adult populations.
Theorist Ronald Akers extended Sutherland’s differential association theory with a modern viewpoint known as the social learning theory. The social learning theory states that individuals commit crime through their association with or exposure to others. According to Akers, people learn how to be offenders based on their observations around them and their association with peers. Theorist Akers states that for one, “people can become involved in crime through imitation—that is by modeling criminal conduct. Second, and most significant, Akers contended that definition and imitation are most instrumental in determining initial forays into crime” (Lilly, Cullen, and Ball 2011:57).