The Theory Of The Differential Association Theory

2539 WordsMar 8, 201511 Pages
Various criminological theories have been constructed attempting to determine factors that contribute to how individuals begin to engage in deviant behavior. The Differential Association Theory established in 1947 by Edwin Sutherland, an American Criminologist, evaluates how delinquent behavior is learned through social interaction as well as learning from the legal definitions of laws and crimes. For example, an individual learning definitions that are favorable to breaking the law from peers or persons they are interacting with frequently will be subjected to engage in criminal behavior. This theory is the base of other criminological theories such as the more easily testable theory, The Social Learning Theory studied closely by Akers and Burgess (1966). This theory uses differential association among other factors to study how criminal behavior is learned. While examining how the theories developed, there are arguments that the differential association theory is nearly impossible to test, therefore the social learning theory was developed to incorporate more relevant and testable factors for criminal and deviant behavior. Focusing mostly on adolescents, drug use, and gangs the theories have been tested closely together building a more standard form of an all around criminological theory. Introduction Differential Association Criminologists, sociologists, and scientists have studied criminal behavior in attempt to evaluate whether criminal behavior is
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