Social Bonding Theory Vs Social Learning Theory

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Social learning theory and social bonding theory are two theories that may be compared and contrasted because they both overlap and differ. Although these theories have their similarities and differences, one theory may prove to be more convincing in terms of applying the theory to the understanding of crime and delinquency. Social learning theory refers to Akers’ theory of crime and deviance. Akers attempted to specify the mechanism and processes through which criminal learning takes place by explaining crime and deviance; he did this in such a way that the likelihood of conforming or deviant behavior based on the influence of an individual’s history of learning was accounted for. This theory was based off Sutherland’s differential association theory, which had nine propositions outlining the process by which individuals acquire attitudes favorable to criminal or delinquent behavior with the basic idea that people tend to associate with others in which they come into contact. However, social learning theory puts more of an emphasis on definitions and applied the idea of operant conditioning by using positive and negative reinforcement. Thus, the theory assumes people are blank slates; people are not entirely good or entirely bad. They are either neutral or fall somewhere on the spectrum between good and bad. This theory also assumes that people are then molded into a criminal or a non-criminal since people end up in one group or the other based on people learning through

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