Critique of Learning Theory • One does not learn to engage in crime, since no learning is required • Criminal acts are simple commonsensical, concrete, and result in immediate gratification • Criminals are simply doing what comes naturally • What causes such behavior is not the presence of something - learning- but the absence of something - self control Gottfredson and Hirschi reject all other explanations of criminal behavior except their own; only lack of self-control is truly consistent with the facts of crime. But: although incomplete, Classical and Social Disorganization Theory are consistent with the facts: • Not all persons who exhibit low self-control commit crime; low self-control merely predisposes someone to commit crime. • Crime can take place to the extent that a motivated offender has access to a "suitable target" i.e. money , which lacks a "capable guardian." • The inability of a community to monitor the behavior of its residents complements parental incompetence.
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