Essay on Sociological Explanations Of Crime And Deviance

961 Words Nov 12th, 2016 4 Pages
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 law as favourable or unfavourable (Sutherland & Cressey, 1985, p. 166). With this knowledge of the differential association theory it is possible to extrapolate and understand that deviant behaviour is learned by association, and the processes of acquiring knowledge about crime is all dependent on social controls. An issue that arises in Sutherland and Cressey’s (1985) article on The Theory of Differential Association is the lack of a valid explanation to the variation in crime rates across communities, nations or groups (p. 167). However, Sutherland and Cressey (1985) explain that since social disorganization is directly correlated to the crime rate, the theory of differential association can be applied; therefore, differential group…

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