The Graduate Review


Aker’s social learning theory predicts why crime occurs due to differential association, reinforcement, definitions and modeling. According to this theory, crime is a learned behavior through socialization agents and observations of peers. In the film Menace II Society, the protagonist, Caine Lawson, wants a way out of the Los Angeles projects after growing up in the gang lifestyle. Applying social learning theory to the film Menace II Society will analyze how Caine learned deviant behavior through modeling, definitions, reinforcement and differential association throughout his life. Also, the theory will explain how his intimate peer group influenced him to engage in criminal behavior instead of getting out of the gang lifestyle as he first intended to.

Note on the Author

Jowaun Gamble is pursuing his Master of Science in Criminal Justice. His research assignment was completed in the spring of 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield. He plans to pursue his Ph.D. in the fall of 2019.

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