Differential Association and Social Bonding Theory

1852 WordsDec 17, 20058 Pages
Differential Association and Social Bonding Theory Introduction The purpose of the following study is determine what, if any, the components of social bonding theory and differential association play on the lives of college students. This study is composed of three hypotheses: A) If the amount of commitment to the college goes up will deviance go down?; B) If involvement with the college is increased then does deviance go down?; and C) If a student associates, or attaches, themselves to deviant peers will deviance be the likely result? These answers will be sought after in this study. However, it is important to focus on what results are found in this study as a way to oppose crime and deviance among college students. For example,…show more content…
When asked about drinking on his college campus one student commented, ‘it's part of the American college culture. I don't know of any college where a large part of the student body isn't drinking on the weekends' (Shinew, 2005)". "Differential association is a social learning theory that centers on ‘explanations [for behavior] that focus on the mechanisms through which people learn the techniques and attitudes favorable to committing deviant acts'. The theory of differential association posits that people experience differing expectations for what is considered appropriate behavior. More specifically, through their friendship groups, people learn what is considered delinquent behavior in that people learn to participate in illegal, or deviant, activities from the people with whom they are closest. Researchers have highlighted four dimensions on which differential association varies including: the frequency, duration, priority, and intensity of association. In short, the influence of intimate personal groups varies depending on the how frequently they assemble, the amount of time they spend together, the level of priority the friendship is to group members, and the intensity of the friendship group. Researchers argued that most learning of delinquent behavior occurs in small, informal
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