Differential association theory was formulated by Edwin Sutherland; “Edwin Sutherland was one of the most revered figures in the history of sociological criminology” (McCarthy). Sutherland was born on August 13 in 1883. Sutherland attended University of Chicago in 1913 and got his PhD in a double major of sociology and political economy(Bernard). In 1924, Sutherland wrote a book called Criminology and he developed his theory about how people learn their behaviors throughout social interactions (Bernard). Although many people support his theory, a lot of people oppose it.
According to Sutherland and his differential association theory, people learn from the people around them. “Criminality is learned in the same manner as any other learned behavior” (Siegel). People, and criminals, learn motives, values and techniques from interactions and experiences with other people. This can be with parents and family members or peers in someone 's life. The theory says that the criminal need someone to teach them the criminal acts before they commit the act themselves. This theory “affirm[s] the importance of criminal contact as a means for learning how to offend” (McCarthy). Most people do not wak...
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...ully, retain the new and better values as their own. They will learn how to refuse the peer pressure like their new peers. Just like learning criminal behavior, you need friends and family members to be supportive of your decisions and new behavior.(horvath)
In conclusion, the reason people use drugs and sell drugs explained using differential association. People learn about drugs, to do drugs, how to do the drug, and the consequences of drug use, from their peers. Social interactions is the biggest way we learn. It starts out will friends using drugs, rationalizing their behavior, and explaining how fun it is. Unless you have good self control, or support system, staying around these peers will lead to the individuals using drugs as well. We should use differential association theory to help people become good members of society and not criminals and drug users.
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