Crime And Deviance Theory

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In Sociological Explanations of Crime and Deviance, Barry Cartwright (2011) emphasized that the fundamental aspect of Edwin Sutherland’s theory of differential association is that criminal behaviour is learned (p. 156). Criminal behaviour is learned through interaction and communication, but an essential part of the learning is that it occurs in groups (Sutherland & Cressey, 1985, p. 165-166). When learning about crime delinquent individuals adapt to several properties of crime in which the individual has their own interpretation. These properties of crime include the motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. With these new learned ideas, individuals can deduce their own reason as to why they are committing the crime, by seeing the …show more content…
1). Sutherland (1940) applies multiple facets of his differential association theory to white collar criminality, as he notes that just like any other type of crime, “white-collar criminality is learned through indirect or direct association with those who already practice the behaviour (p. 10). This demonstrates Sutherland’s development of thinking from focusing on crime in general, to how it can be applied to white-collar criminality. Michael Benson’s (1985) article on Denying the Guilty Mind: Accounting for Involvement in a White-Collar Crime, draws strong connections between his article and Sykes and Matza’s Techniques of Neutralization. Benson (1985) states that criminals who have been convicted of their crime, begin to rationalize their conduct to themselves before participating in crime (p. 588). Benson’s article shows the growth in between the differential association theory and the techniques of neutralization, since he combines the concept of criminal behaviour being learned, and that criminals form rationalizes of their actions. Throughout Benson’s study it is noted that the criminals that participated in fraud, often try to shift blame, which corresponds directly to the denial of responsibility in the Techniques of Neutralization, and they show prosecutors as having their own agenda, which corresponds to the condemnation of condemners in the Techniques of

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