Relation between Burglary and Differential Association Theory

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This paper will provide an explanation into how differential association theory explains burglary. Burglary, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (F.B.I), considers a property crime a Type 1 Index Crime because of its potentially violent nature. The F.B.I. breaks burglary down into three sub classifications. This paper discusses the elements of the crime of burglary and what constitutes a structure or dwelling. It will discuss a brief history of the deviance, trends and rates, and how it correlates to the specific theory that this paper will also discuss. Differential association theory best explains the burglary deviance. There are many principles associated with this type of learning theory. Edwin Sutherland’s theory discusses how crime is a learned behavior where one’s family, peers, and environment are of great influence. Differential association theory seeks to prove that criminal behavior is learned and this paper will evaluate the connection between the two. Under common law some many years ago, burglary was the breaking and entering of a dwelling during the night for the purposes of committing a felony or a larceny (Bernasco and Luykx 2003). Under common law, there were a couple reasons for this specific definition of burglary. First, as Bernasco put it, breaking is the act of creating an opening by disabling any part of the dwelling meant to serve as a prevention tool against intrusion. Secondly, nighttime was an important element of burglary by common law standards; law-makers viewed people as unable to protect themselves during the middle of the night. Under common law, it was not enough to merely enter a dwelling, the act of breaking had to exist; if the entry occurs through an unlocked door, then burgl... ... middle of paper ... ...ance of a child engaging in a neutral activity as it discourages and prevents that child from coming into contact with a person who acts in a criminal nature. There are many research findings that support differential association theory. Pratt and his associates discovered that the association between crime and differential association theory are fairly strong (Siegel 239). Works Cited Wim Bernasco and Floor Luykx, “Effects of Attractiveness, Opportunity, and Accessibility to Burglars on Residential Burglary Rates of Urban Neighborhoods,” Criminology, Vol. 41, No. 3, 2003, p. 981-1002. Lawrence Friedman, “Crime and Punishment in American History,” BasicBooks, 1993, p. 109-111. Print. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/property-crime/burglarymain Larry J. Siegel, “Criminology,” Cengage Learning, 2012, p.236-40.

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