Allan Levite argues in this article - https://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=245 - that there is no such thing as social determinism, concluding that the cultural milieu in which one lives can only be used as a partial explanation for an individual's behavior. Is this a republican biased review or should it be taken into account as a genuine academic argument?
And now, back to my question. If it was, then what was their aim?
I tend to believe that we are products of our environment - but not only - As pointed out by Eritmitus previously: No matter how rough or kind our environment we all have choice as to how we allow that environment to mold us.
So one person born to a gang-infested ghetto may choose to run with the gangs and learn to become a professional thief.
While another born to that same ghetto may choose to use the same gangs as means to learn how to build better security and defenses.
I also believe that if a person is shown much more of mankind's ugly than they are ever shown love or acceptance by humankind - The person can still choose to remain cordial, themselves, for the sake of their own integrity but I can gaurantee you will find that individual has less of a value for the world and everything in it.
Even though they chose not to be destructive themselves (as others witnessing the same as them did) their disassociation with the world will still reflect in how much effort they put into trying to help the world or even bothering to participate in it.
It will also reflect in their Self-Righteousness or casual, smug, ability to disregard all external criticism under conviction that no one else undertstands as much as they do and the ones who do are liars and predators.
So even though Social Determinism is not the be-all/end-all defining a person it is still a portion of what has helped developed their demeanor for better or worse.
Using myself as example: although I never took opportunity to focus all of my learning efforts on how to cheat, con and hack proficiently, you will never (in any existence or dimension) find me caring enough about the world around me to ever see me training to become a fire fighter.