In this paper, I am going to going to examine the criminological theory of Differential Association theory by Edwin H. Sutherland. Also I am going to examine Kirk White from the film The Wild and Wonderful World of the Whites of West Virginia. Furthermore, I am going to apply Edwin H. Sutherland’s Differential Association theory to explain and understand the deviant actions of this character. I conclude that Differential association theory will explain why this character act in a deviant why.
Differential Association Theory
Differential association theory was formulated by American criminologist Edwin H. Sutherland making him by many one of the most instrumental figures to criminology (Boman, 2013). His theory held that people learn deviant behavior through their interactions with other people by actively observing criminal behavior from others in their social circle (Robert, Akers 1966). Differential association theory states that there are nine propositions in how criminal behavior is learned. The first proposition is that criminal behavior is learned, it is not spontaneously conceived (Kapelos, 2013). The second proposition is that individuals must observe the criminal behaviors through social interaction and communication (Kapelos, 2013). The third proposition is that the observed deviant behavior must take place in interaction with members of the intimate social circle, and that methods of impersonal communication like television, films or newspapers are less influential or effective (Kapelos, 2013). The fourth proposition is that learning deviant behavior must include techniques of committing that deviant act, and the specific direction of motives, drives, rat...
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...lls, “You and Dennis, tell them that bastard tried to hit you. If I had a knife I would slit his dam throat open… or is nuts.” Sadly if this behavior is not address and corrected her son is going to follow his uncle Derek footsteps.
In examining the criminological theory of Differential Association by Edwin H. Sutherland, helped me understand that people learn deviant behavior through their interactions with other people by actively observing criminal behavior from others in their social circle (Boman, 2013). This movie showed a family that is stuck in a circle of violent and deviant behavior that is passed on by odder family member to the younger family members though the process of differential association. It brought a clearer understanding of how people learn behavior, also it helped reinforce my view on how we should address crime in this country.
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