Differential Association Assignment Help & Writing Service

Differential Association

Sutherland noted that criminal behavior is found in all regions and classes not just in slums. He proposed a differential association theory that criminal behavior is learned through contact with criminal patterns which are present, are acceptable, and are.rewarded in one’s .physical and social environment. A person “engages in criminal behavior if, and only if, the weight of the favorable definitions exceeds the weight of the unfavorable definitions.” [Sutherland, 1949, p. 234]. While Sutherland focused on criminal behavior, his theory fits all deviant behavior. A person becomes deviant if the deviant patterns are more common, or more commonly rewarded, in the social world in which the person moves (that is, among the Significant others whose approval; is desired.) Thus deviants learn deviant behavior in the same way conformists learn conforming behavior.

Share This