Professor Randy Smith
January 24, 2012
The purpose of this paper is to select one (1) of the theories suggested to be the cause of digital crime and explain the theory in your own words as it relates to crime in general, and describe why the theory chosen could be recognized as the most relevant in terms of being a cause of digital crime. Differential-association theory:
Edwin Sutherland coined the phrase differential association to address the issue of how people learn deviance. According to this theory, the environment plays a major role in deciding which norms people learn to violate. Specifically, people within a particular reference group provide norms of conformity and deviance, and thus heavily influence the way other people look at the world, including how they react. People also learn their norms from various socializing agents—parents, teachers, ministers, family, friends, co-workers, and the media. In short, people learn criminal behavior, like other behaviors, from their interactions with others, especially in intimate groups. The differential-association theory applies to many types of deviant behavior. For example, juvenile gangs provide an environment in which young people learn to become criminals. These gangs define themselves as countercultural and glorify violence, retaliation, and crime as means to achieving social status. Gang members learn to be deviant as they embrace and conform to their gang's norms. Differential-association theory has contributed to the field of criminology in its focus on the developmental nature of criminality. People learn deviance from the people with whom they associate. Critics of the differential-association theory, on the other hand, claim the vagueness of the theory's terminology does not lend itself to social science research methods or empirical validation.
In conclusion I selected one (1) of the theories suggested to be the cause of digital crime and explain the theory in your...