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Differential learning theory | UK US Essays
  • February 4th, 2017

Differential learning theory

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

You are watching the news one night when a story comes on about a robbery that occurred nearby. The reporter explains that the offender was apprehended and it is the person’s 3rdtime being arrested for robbery. They have already served several prison sentences for similar offenses and are now likely looking at another long prison sentence.

After hearing this, one of your friends angrily shakes his/her head and says, “I guess some people never learn. You just can’t teach some people right from wrong. It’s like they are hard wired to make bad decisions.”

1. How would Sutherland and Akers respond to your friend’s comments? How might learning processes be used to explain these patterns of behavior (from the news story or from other similar cases), and could there be learning processes at work here that your friend hasn’t considered. In your response, make sure to describe the key components of the learning theories of crime and how they can explain criminal offending.
After explaining this to your friend, he/she defiantly says, “Ok, but why is it that criminals always seem to come from the same neighborhoods? If crime is something that anyone can learn, why is it that the people who happen to “learn crime” often live in the same inner-city areas and not in the suburbs. Why don’t suburban kids learn crime too?”
2. How would the macro-level, cultural theories account for your friends observation? Drawing from the articles/chapters you read for this module, how would Sampson and Wilson and/or Elijah Anderson explain why violence is often clustered in poor, central-city areas rather than suburbs.

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