Differential Association

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DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY

Differential Association theory it the theory that focuses on why people commit crimes. There are several reasons for a person to commit crimes according this theory.  The general idea of differential association theory of criminology is that crime is a behavior that is learned through interactions with peers and family, or associations. The primary aspect of differential association theory is that delinquency is a learned behavior. Early explanations of crime focused on the individual, such as biological traits, personalities, or the idea of the born criminal. (Differential association theory, 2011) The differential association theory was developed by Edwin H. Sutherland. “Edwin was born August 13, 1883 in Gibbon, Nebraska and died in 1950. He grew up and studied in Ottawa, Kansas, and Grand Island, Nebraska. In 1904 he received a B.A degree from Grand Island College, and after that, he taught Latin, Greek, history, and shorthand for two years at Sioux Falls College in South Dakota (The Differential Associations Theory, 2009).” In 1906 he left Sioux Falls College and entered graduate school at the University of Chicago from which he received his doctorate. There, he changed his major from history to sociology. Much of his study was influenced by Chicago school's approach to the study of crime that emphasized human behavior as determined by social and physical environmental factors, rather than genetic or personal characteristics. (The Differential Associations Theory, 2009) After completing graduate studies he worked at the University of Minnesota between 1926 and 1929 and gained his reputation as one of the country’s leading criminologists Later he moved to Indiana University and became the founder of the Bloomington school of criminology at Indiana University. During that time, he published 3 books, including Twenty Thousand Homeless Men (1936), The Professional Thief (1937), and the third edition Principles of...
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