Week 2, discussion 1
The systematics of the theory of Sutherland: “Criminal behavior as learned through contact with other with a law-violating orientation” This theory applies to both conventional and white collar crimes. Sutherland formulated a list of nine interrelated proposition on the process and content of learning to be a criminal (Friedrichs: P.235-236). These are the following: 1) Criminal behavior is learned, 2) Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication, 3) The principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups, 4) When criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes (a) techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very simple; (b) the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. 5) The specific direction of the motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable, 6) A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law. 7) Differential association may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. 8) The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning. 9) While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those general needs and values, since noncriminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values. This association with criminal groups or non-criminal, different, differentiated or differential, for Sutherland was the only possible explanation of the behavior Criminal.
The theory of Sutherland is clearly reflected in this film: “Enron: the smartest guys in the room”. The ambition of the top executives of Enron: Jeffrey Skilling, Kenneth Lay and Andrew Fastow led them to commit the fraudulent bankruptcy...
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