New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Week 4 notes

by: Janaki Padmakumar

Week 4 notes CCJ4014

Janaki Padmakumar

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

These notes cover material from week 4, which focuses on the differential association and social learning theories, as well as Anderson's research on the code of the street.
Criminological theory
Abby Fagan
Class Notes
criminology, SLT, theories, Akers, anderson
25 ?




Popular in Criminological theory


This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Janaki Padmakumar on Saturday September 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ4014 at University of Florida taught by Abby Fagan in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Criminological theory in CRIMINOLOGY at University of Florida.


Reviews for Week 4 notes


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 09/17/16
Week 4 notes L6 Differential association and social learning theories How is crime created? Social interactions Differential Association and Social Learning Theories Commonalities:  People are not inherently criminal  But people learn how to be criminal the same way other behaviors are learned (learn how to act via social interactions)  Focus on how criminal behavior is learned through interactions with others  Basis in the psychological perspective- how people process interactions Sutherland- Differential association  Edwin Sutherland developed the theory in 1947  On sentence summary of theory- Social interactions lead to crime  Criminal behavior is something that is learned o Through interaction and communication (verbal, nonverbal, direct or indirect) o In small, intimate personal groups  Frequency, duration, priority and intensity of interactions will determine how much learning occurs- long term associations that are formed in important social groups o Who these groups are will change over life course (theory cannot specifically ID which group is most important) o For younger children, parents are most important role models; this changes as new groups are formed  Differential associations= associations made within groups ; how many criminal v. non criminal associates you have; if socializing with more "criminal" groups, more likely to commit crimes  Learning leads to crime when definitions favorable to crime outweigh definitions unfavorable to crime o Definitions are personal attitudes, motives, drives, rationalizations, that affect our behavior o The more unfavorable definitions are communicated to you, more likely you are to commit crime  Definitions favorable to crime o Help excuse, rationalize or justify actions before/after committing crime  Helps people live with themselves  Lessen or absolve feelings of guilt  "nobody will get hurt" or "they deserved it"  Crime most likely when definitions favorable to crime exceed definitions unfavorable to crime Ronald Akers- Social Learning Theory  Expounds on Sutherland's theory: o More emphasis on how behaviors (not just definitions) are modeled by others, then learned o Added concept of reinforcement- learning based on rewards and punishment (operant conditioning)  Rewards/punishments obtained from social groups o Four major concepts: o Imitation  First criminal action usually results from imitating someone else's behavior  Most likely to commit crimes in early adolescence  More likely to imitate those who are: 1. Important to you 2. People you see rewarded for their behavior 3. Those who you see regularly  Who are the most important role models? 1. Primary groups (family, friends etc) v. media 1 Differential association i Relationships with deviants/criminals increase likelihood of crime 1 Exposure to attitudes and behaviors are important; provision of role models and behavior to imitate ii Priority, duration, frequency and intensity of relationship are important 1 Groups with most influence on behavior? a Primary groups: family and friends b Secondary groups: church, school, mass media, "virtual" associates ii How to measure differential associations: 1 Ask survey questions- 2 "Have any of your brothers/sisters ever…taken a handgun to school…smoked marijuana..etc" 3 How many adults do you personally know who have sold drugs/gotten drunk/high? 1 Definitions i Defined the same as Sutherland; attitudes or meanings people attach to given behaviors ii Orientations, rationalizations, moral attitudes iii Can be general or specific iv Definitions favorable to crime make crime more likely (most people have definitions unfavorable) 1 Differential reinforcement i The more behaviors (positive or negative) are rewarded, the more they will be continued ii Rewards can be: 1 Tangible or intangible 2 Actual or anticipated 3 Individual or social ii What are the chances you'd be seen as cool if you.. 1 Smoked cigarettes? 2 Smoked marijuana? 3 Carried a handgun? ii Positive reinforcement that is high, frequent and certain is most effective iii Reinforcement can also be negative- unpleasant or painful consequences (like punishment) iv People avoid being criminal to avoid punishment- sounds like deterrence and rational choice theories v How to measure differential reinforcement? Social learning process  All four elements interact to affect learning over time  These processes are affected by structural variables o Demographic characteristics (age, sex, race) o Social contexts L7 Akers social learning theory and code of the street Social learning process:  Imitation  Differential association  Definitions  Differential reinforcement Peer influences:  Social learning theory says peers are most important learning group, at least in adolescence o Having criminal friends increases likelihood of crime o People are not criminal until AFTER they hang out with those who are criminals o Why/how do peers influence each other?  Imitate them, learn definitions, be reinforced for behavior Parent influences:  Very important role models especially in childhood  Can socialize kids to be criminal or non criminal Cycle of violence- Widom 1989  Main finding says that being abused or neglected as a child increased likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59%, as an adult by 28% and violent crime by 30% Code of the street- how parents and peers socialize children to be criminal or non criminal (quiz)  Main reason of code of the street is to get respect; can use it for vengeance on those who harmed you, but primary goal is respect o Showed that you can be seen as tough- proactive in using force to gain "respect"; keeps kids from being a victim while growing up in violent neighborhoods  Street and decent families do not differ in their financial situation- external factors influence if kids adopt code of the street  It is possible to switch between street and decent behavior- used as a defense mechanism in public; adopt decent behavior within decent family setting  Girls use the code of the street to gain honor and status based on factors like beauty and boyfriends; engage in code of the street to get vengeance on people taking these from them  Boys from the street use the code to show they are not afraid of dying or imprisonment; seek out violent situations Anderson: The Code of the Street  Multiple poor, inner city neighborhoods have high crime rates and violence  These areas have a "code of the street" as a method to cope with violence they grow up in; no official recognition of such rule in these neighborhoods o These are informal rules that govern interpersonal public conduct/behavior/relationships o Necessary since formal systems such as the police or judicial systems are seen as ineffective or untrustworthy- residents do not trust or respect authority, so they refuse to call police if violent behavior is displayed o Need to take care of yourself  Two conflicting sets of definitions are present: o Street: opposition to mainstream society  Toughness, manliness and violence are valued  Reject conventional cultural goals like education, employment or financial gain- replace this with new goal of being tough or respected o Decent: endorsement of middle-class, mainstream cultural values and goals  Values education, hard work and being respectful to others  Why does street culture endorse violence? o Gain and maintain respect  Especially if you are challenged, or if you want to be a "man"  Act tough, have money (robbery includes physical success and monetary gain) o Lets you avoid being a victim, since mainstream institutions will not defend you  Demonstrate the code of the street o Must convince others you will be violent if situation calls for it o People go to extremes to maintain respect o Instigate fights even if not provoked  Females following the code o Yes, but based more on status, respect, stealing of a boyfriend etc. Learning the code  PARENTS teach it- behaviors are projected onto children o Street families that have adopted street codes tend to be poor o Most are unemployed o Riddled with drug addiction issues to cope with life situation  Renders parents incapable of providing for/caring for children o Deep seated bitterness or anger  Angry about living situation  Resentful toward law  Experience routine strain o Inconsiderate to others  Kids are left alone and unsupervised o Could be because parents are working long hours, OR due to drug addiction o Kids are rarely reinforced for behavior o Parents can be aggressive to children to discipline them or teach them the code o At an early age, kids learn through imitation, associations, definitions and reinforcements  Physical strength is necessary  They need to watch out for themselves How do kids learn to be "decent"?  Kids learn proper behavior from their parents  Acept mainstream values and instill them in children  Value hard work and self-reliance  Value the church and school (escape stress of neighborhood and sharing of values)  Will reprimand or punish kids for skipping school/bad behavior  Poor but somewhat better off than street families- working for a living  Parents are strict o Teach kids to respect authority, have morals, be polite or considerate, maintain a positive mental attitude of resilience, and cooperate with others o Positively and negatively reinforce behaviors o Restrict access to kids access to going out and interacting with criminal types o Generally less violent than street families By adolescence, most youths have internalized the code  Those from decent families understand what it is, and act in accord with its rules  Street and decent families live side by side  Kids learn to "code switch" between street and decent  Some evidence to show that both sets of values and reinforcements take place, and living by code of the street increases likelihood of participating in violent behavior


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Kyle Maynard Purdue

"When you're taking detailed notes and trying to help everyone else out in the class, it really helps you learn and understand the I made $280 on my first study guide!"

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.