Essay on Theory, Control And Differential Association Theory

Essay on Theory, Control And Differential Association Theory

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Which theory, control or differential association theory, better explains why someone exhibits deviant behavior? This is a difficult question as both theories have merit in explaining the deviant behavior being exhibited by individuals in society. Deviant behavior is difficult at times to explain using one theory. This paper will break down the key components of each theory while applying it to the Becker article in helping explain why someone becomes a marijuana user.
To start, control theory has four different aspects that explain the bond to society. The basis for this theory is that deviant behavior happens when bonds become weaker between society and the individual. There are four different elements that compose this theory. The first element is attachment. This element has to do with attachment one has with society. The more attached one is to society, the more likely norms will become internalized within them. This will result in less delinquent acts happening within the society. The second element of this theory is commitment. This is referring to the commitment one has to the society. Individuals obey the rules or norms of the society in order to avoid the punishment of committing delinquent acts. The third element of control theory is involvement. If someone is consuming themselves with activities to do in the community, then they will simply not have the time to commit delinquent acts. The last element of control theory is belief. This is the values or beliefs that the society holds. In this element, either the belief system is completely ignored or it is even rationalized in order to justify breaking the values. This results in beliefs becoming weakened while delinquent acts increase.
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...ining this question. That being said, I feel that differential association theory best explains deviant behavior. This article is a prime example of how learned behaviors from others contribute to the use and continued use of marijuana happens. This theory can also be applied to other deviant behaviors too. We as human beings do not just become deviant but rather learn them from others around us. This theory better explains deviant behaviors because the other theory asserts that it has to with our own individual bonds with society. I feel that it has nothing to do with bonds but rather who we learn and associate with in society. If we associate with those who are deviant then we are more likely to become deviant in society. Both theories can be used to explain deviant behaviors but I feel that differential association theory better explains this phenomenon.

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