Animal kingdom (2010) is an Australian movie about a seventeen-year-old boy named Josh Cody who is immersed in a world of crime during the mid-1980’s. Due to the death of his mother Josh is left with no other option then to move in with his criminal relatives. Josh’s grandmother Janine (also referred to as ‘Smurf’) welcomes Josh to live with her and her three beloved sons, Andrew (Pope), Craig and Darren. Craig is a mid level drug dealer whilst Pope and his best friend Barry Brown (Baz) are armed robbers and are training the youngest of the three, Darren, to follow in their ways. Through engaging in consistent criminal activity Andrew has captured the attention of Melbourne’s Armed Robbery Squad. This situation is then quickly escalated into an all out war, as the authorities are responsible for the death of Barry. Which according to the director, David Michod, isn’t uncommon for the time period it is set in, having the movie supposedly based off a true story. The movie focuses on the effects of growing up in a world where criminal activity is apart of daily routine. Given this, the two key theories used to explain the family’s crime rate are Sutherlands differential association theory and General Strain Theory.
Sutherland’s differential association theory can be applied to the movie Animal Kingdom given the family’s circumstances. The theory was proposed by Edward Sutherland and suggests that individuals base their behaviours by association through the process of