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Revisiting Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning from a Problem-Solving Approach: Symbolic Interactionism, Humans as Acting, and Social Structure
Deviant Behavior  (IF1.716),  Pub Date : 2022-01-31, DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2022.2029687
Ruth Triplett, Justin Turner


In line with a long tradition of theorizing, this paper draws on critiques of Akers’ Social Structure and Social Learning (SSSL) to argue for a stronger grounding of the theory in symbolic interactionism. Drawing on the work of Mead, Blumer, and Maines, the argument is that to do so means grounding SSSL in a view of humans as acting and action as problem-solving. It also means incorporating an expanded understanding of the situation into the theory. Grounding SSSL more strongly in symbolic interactionism leads to a revision and extension of the theory that opens it up to new directions in both theory and research.