Theories of Crime: Causes and Legalities

1455 Words6 Pages
Abstract This paper talks about two prominent theories of crime. One of the theories mentioned is the social learning theory. Another theory discussed is the labeling theory. Criminal events that are discussed din light of these theories. Major emphasis is on why these crimes occurred and whether the criminals should be punished or not. Crime The social learning theory by Ronald Akers is an important component of criminology that evolves from political, social and historical situations. This theory is more of an extension of Edwin Sutherland's theory of differential association extended on the learning perspective. Sutherland's work basically consists of a culture conflict that is typically the difficult problems within a society. He basically talks about how the society holds the power to turn any person into a deviant person. (Sellin, 1938) Akers provides a more refined version of Sutherland stated. Akers adds on to this theory the concept of force or reinforcement. He states that reinforcement is the factor that increases or reduces the tendency of a person to act a certain way. Using his theory, Akers also goes onto oppose others regarding learning in the criminal theory. Using the principles of the Operant Psychology, he states that behavior is basically a function of consequences. (Pfohl, 1994) It was in the 1960s and the 1970s, that these social theories were visited and discussed in more detail. Many persons thought that by observing behavior, they could
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