Reading Analysis

In order to complete the assignment you need to have finished readings All God’s Children. Listen to the episode on Willie Bosket from the Podcast Criminal.  We get to hear from Fox Butterfield, the author of All God’s Children, as well as Willie’s family members.  The reporter goes to prison to interview Willie. Although she couldn’t record the interview, we get to hear what he thinks about the book and his life history (28 min). (Links to an external site.)  For those of you interested, here’s an article of a woman that interviewed Willie in 2015: (Links to an external site.)

For each theory analyzed, start by identifying the main elements of the theory and then apply the theory to the book by providing examples that either support or counter the main elements. You should be providing me with enough details and examples from the book to show you’ve done the readings. (500 words minimum).

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Choose one (1) of the learning theories discussed in the readings and class (pick either Differential Association, Operant Learning, Bandura’s Social Learning, or Differential Reinforcement Theory) and use it to explain Willie’s criminal behavior. Be sure to identify the main points of the theory you choose in your explanation.
Ch 12 of All God’s Children ends with Butch writing “I pose absolutely NO threat whatsoever to free society, nor have I for years. Any warped sense of values or psychological or emotional instabilities have long since been eradicated by maturity, education, and a clear sense of the need for social values and norms.” Apply Gottfredson & Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime to Butch’s life.  Use the theory to explain why Butch was not able to follow through on promise of no longer being a threat to society. Be sure to include the elements and causes of low self-control in your analysis.  In other words, what traits of low self control can be identified in Butch?  What contributed to him having low self-control?  How does this theory help explain his final crime?

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In thinking about Ch 14, do you believe, if given the chance, Willie could have changed or was his final arrest and conviction deserved? If you think he had the potential to change, explain what could/should have been done to help him desist. If you think it was too late for him to change, explain why you think there was nothing that could be done to change his criminal trajectory. For more information on Reading Analysis check out :

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