Ronald L. Sutherland's Differential Association Theory Of Criminal Behavior

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The reason for this research paper is to interpret Ronald L. Akers’ social learning theory, which was an expansion of Edwin H. Sutherland’s differential association theory of criminal behavior. Sutherland said that behavior is learned through differential associations, but he never stated exactly how they learned crime. Robert L. Burgess and Akers pinpointed the learning devices for Sutherland’s theory in their theory of criminal behavior, differential association-reinforcement theory. After Akers’ work with Burgess he developed a modification of their theory, social learning theory. Akers applied it to criminal, delinquent, and deviant behavior in general. The basic assumption in social learning theory is that the same learning process in a context of social structure, interaction, and situation, produces both conforming and deviant behavior (Akers, R. L., & Sellers, C. S., 2009). The making of the theory depended on differential association, definitions, differential reinforcement and imitation to explain how we learn crime. Akers set the framework for how we learn crime from others and our surroundings.
Principles of Social Learning Theory Direct and indirect differential associations provide definitions, models to imitate and differential reinforcements. Your differential associations can change your attitude and meanings, definitions, about crime whether your friends view it positive, negative, or neutral. Positive definitions are attitudes that make an act desirable

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