Social Control Theory vs. Social Learning Theory Essay

Words: 1963
Pages: 8

Social Control Theory vs. Social Learning Theory

Social control theory and social learning theory are two theories that suggest why deviant behavior is chosen to be acted upon by some individuals and not others. Both take a different stance on the issue. Social control theory suggests people’s behavior is based on their bonds to society, if they have strong bonds to society they conform and if not they have a tendency to act out or become involved in criminal or deviant behavior. Social learning theory suggest that through vicarious learning people learn from observing others and based on what the observe make the choice of whether to copy those actions to obtain desired results or chose not to if
…show more content…
People who do not conform to societies norms are often seen as delinquents or criminals. Delinquents and criminals often do not form the attachments to others, develop positive goals, participate in community events, or care about common moral beliefs or the law (Simons, Simons, & Wallace, 2004, p. 21). Social control theory suggest that the reason individuals become criminals or delinquents is the breakdown in the bonds to society and leaves the individual more susceptible to engaging in criminal activity (Akers, 1990, p. 653-676).
Social learning theory Contrary to what social control theory suggest by assuming all children are inherently antisocial although effective parenting can teach children to control themselves, social learning theory suggest that children are not inherently good or bad, but acquire their social tendencies on how they react with others in their environment (Simons, Simons, & Wallace, 2004, p. 33). Albert Bandura suggests that vicarious learning is the process of learning by observing others actions rather than learning from one’s own experiences. “Vicarious learning involves taking note of the consequences that follow when people engage in various actions” (Simons, Simons, & Wallace,