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Justice in American Media

The focus in criminal causation research today is empirical demanding high degrees of rigor and methodological soundness in testing any theory under real world conditions.

Social process theories have been criticized by Akers for methodological shortcomings. For example, Akers and Sellers (48) contend that the Chicago School emphasized that criminal values are learned through associations, but they had little to say about precisely how this acquisition of anti-social definitions occurs. Akers criticized these theories because they did not take into sufficient account the various kinds of associations in which individuals participate. They do not recognize the influence of social structure as it relates to social learning leading to either criminal behavior or conforming behavior. Also, they do not refer to differential social location in groups, differential social organization, differential location in the social structure, or theoretically defined structural variables.

Akers' social learning theory has elaborated Sutherland's model, stating that in addition to definitions, people can become involved in crime through imitation or modeling of criminal conduct. Secondly, Akers "contended that definitions and imitations are most instrumental in determining initial forays into crime (Akers and Sellers 49). The continued involvement in crime results in differential social reinforcement and the theory has been subjected to extensive empirical testing mostly in studies where measures of social learning are used to account for self-reported delinquency. Akers and Sellers (49) state that overall, "the research is supportive of the perspective, including studies in which social learning theory was tested against competing explanations of crime such as social bond theory."

Walter C. Reckless' Containment Theory has influenced Control Theory by recognizing the individualization of the self and arguing that a variety of fact...

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Justice in American Media. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:37, September 20, 2017, from
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