This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Crime And Delinquency Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

Crime and Delinquency

In 1939 Criminologist Edwin H. Sutherland proposed his theory of Differential Association in his Principles of Criminology textbook. Differential Association theory states that criminal behavior is learned behavior. Sutherland along with Richard Cloward, and Lloyd Ohlin attempted to explain this phenomenon by emphasizing the role of learning. To become a criminal, a person must not only be inclined toward illegal activity, he or she must also learn how to commit criminal acts. Sutherland’s differential association theory contends that people whose environment provides the opportunity to associate with criminals will learn these skills and will become criminals in response to strain. If the necessary learning structures are absent, they will not. Sutherland relied heavily upon the work of Shaw and McKay, Chicago school theorists, in high rates of juvenile delinquency. Sutherland's theory of differential association still remains very popular among criminologists due to its less complex and more coherent approach to crime causation. It is also supported by much evidence.

Sutherland did not mean that mere association with criminals would lead to criminal behavior. What he meant was that the contents of patterns in association would differ from individual to individual. He viewed crime as a consequence of conflicting values.
Differential association is a theory based on the social environment and its surrounding individuals and the values those individuals gain from significant others in their social environment.

According to Differential Association, criminal behavior is learned based on the interactions we have with others and the values that we receive during that interaction.
We learn values from family, friends, coworkers, etc.; those values either support or oppose criminal behavior. Sutherland also noted that individuals with an excess of criminal definitions will be more open to new criminal definitions and that individual will be less receptive to anti-criminal definitions. The theory does not emphasize who one's associates are but rather upon the definitions provided by those associations. Once techniques are learned, values (or definitions) supporting that criminal behavior may be learned from just about anyone.

Differential Association is based on nine postulates:

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, (b) the specific direction of motives, drives and rationalizations and attitudes.

5) The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from the definition of legal codes are favorable and unfavorable

6) A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation...

Find Another Essay On Crime and Delinquency

General Theory of Crime and Delinquency: Why Criminals Offend

1057 words - 5 pages General Theory of Crime and Delinquency In the article Why Criminals Offend: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency by Robert Agnew the author explains many factors play a role in whether or not an individual will commit a crime. All of these factors are based solely on personal experiences through an individual's life time and a buildup of these factors will increase the chances for crime to be committed. Factors such as negative school

"Crime and Delinquency" A take on who is targeted and the how's and why's. <Tab/>

2045 words - 8 pages "Crime and Delinquency"In the year 2003 and many previous years before, one enormous problem our society is and was plagued with is crime and delinquency. There is not an easy way to explain crime and delinquency, however there are a multitude of reasons that these offenses are committed. Attempting to understand the logic behind crime and delinquency or trying to find an explanation is a complex task. A crime is an offense committed against the

Asses The Evidence And Arguments Which Suggest That Female Crime And Delinquency Are Under Represented In Official Statistics

1134 words - 5 pages crime and delinquency are no entirely accurate.In 1950 Otto Pollak argued that official statistics on gender and crime were highly misleading. According to Pollack, the statistic seriously underestimated the extent of female criminality. By examining official figures from a variety of different countries, he identified certain crimes that are usually committed by women but are particularly unlikely to be reported.He assumed that nearly all offences

Nature vs. Nurture: Crime and Delinquency

750 words - 3 pages their crimes (which include exhibitionism, attempted rape, and arson) have been diverse and unpredictable" (Powledge, T.M., Vol 46:1, January 1996) Although there does seem to be some evidence that crime and genetics are related, the findings prove to be unpredictable. That is not to say that there have not been breakthroughs, and other areas of human biology have proved to be useful also.

The Marxist Crime Perspective on Juvenile Delinquency of African Americans

3121 words - 12 pages American juveniles, and why it could lead to a life of crime as juveniles transition into adulthood. In addition to this, the government will be examined on how it uses the legal system, law enforcement, and certain officials to control most of the population and contribute to this problem. Lastly, this paper will explore the possible benefits of implementing a living wage to solve juvenile delinquency among African Americans. Discussion The

The Relationship Between Social Class and Delinquency

1451 words - 6 pages ). The relationship between age and delinquency is evidence by an agreement between all three data sources, which show that crimes peak during mid to late adolescence. Rates for property crime peak in mid to late adolescence and then decline rapidly. The rates for violent crime peak in late adolescence and early adulthood and then decline more slowly. The peak rates of illicit drug use vary from late teens and early 20’s often depending on the

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

2261 words - 9 pages , discovered that more than 80% of individuals had deviant peers, and they have a strong tendency to commit delinquent acts in the company of others. Studies found that relationships of peer delinquency from self‐report delinquency surpasses that of any other independent variable, regardless of whether the focus is on different types of crime (Haynie, 2001). On the other hand, lets note that exposure to deviant peers is not the only factor that leads

Reducing Juvenile Delinquency

617 words - 2 pages sent to juvenile courts, where the main aim is to rehabilitate offenders, rather than punish them. But, the term "juvenile delinquency" itself has come to imply disgrace in today's society. A youngster can be labeled a "delinquent" for breaking any one of a number of laws, ranging from robbery to running away from home.Thesis StatementCrime statistics, though they are often incomplete and may be misleading, do give an indication of the extent of

Juvenile Delinquency

997 words - 4 pages . In some communities, the police ignore many children who are accused of minor delinquencies or refer them directly to their parents. But in other communities, the police may refer such children to a juvenile court, where they may officially be declared "delinquents."Crime statistics, though they are often incomplete and may be misleading, do give an indication of the extent of the delinquency problem. The FBI reports that during the early 1980s

Juvenile Delinqunecy

939 words - 4 pages Juvenile Delinquency is defined as the actions of illegal activities committed by minors and it has been on the rise for many years. Children and Adolescents who commit crimes at an early age are prone to have been exposed to a risk factor that has influenced their decision to perform youth crimes. A risk factor is characterized by variables or hazards that if presented to an individual they would most likely develop a disorder and in this

Childhood Delinquence. Definition, the extent, causes, and what has been done to deal with the problem

936 words - 4 pages refer such children to ajuvenile court, where they may officially be declared delinquents. Crime statistics,though they are often incomplete and may be misleading, do give an indication of the extentof the delinquency problem. The FBI reports that during the early 1980's, about two-fifthsof all arrests in the United States for burglary and arson were of persons under the age of18. Juveniles also accounted for about one-third of all arrests for

Similar Essays

Crime And Delinquency Essay

1070 words - 4 pages Kathryn GalbraithNovember 21, 2003"Crime and Delinquency"Kathryn Galbraith In the year 2003 and many previous years before, one enormous problem our society is and was plagued with is crime and delinquency. There is not an easy way to explain crime and delinquency, however there are a multitude of reasons that these offenses are committed. Attempting to understand the logic behind crime and delinquency or trying to find an explanation is

Crime And Delinquency Essay

796 words - 3 pages Crime and Delinquency This study explored associations between ever having been arrested and other variables among 490 male drug users. Participants were classified into three groups based on recent sexual history: men who had not had sex, men who had sex with women and men who had sex with men. It was found that men who had sex with men who had been arrested were more likely to have had syphilis and gonorrhea, exchange sex for either drugs or

Developmental Crime Prevention And Juvenile Delinquency

2391 words - 10 pages Background One of the best strategies for combating juvenile delinquency is adopting developmental crime prevention program. Developmental crime prevention programs aim to lower an individual’s potential of becoming criminal. The theory that guides these types of programs is that criminal and deviant activity is the result of early life experiences and learning. These programs put an emphasis on what causes individuals to commit deviant acts

Nature Vs. Nurture: Crime And Delinquency

1470 words - 6 pages The debate between nature vs. nurture in regards to crime and delinquency is a long and heated one. Are some people really born criminals, or is our society and the environment and experiences children are brought up in the reason they become delinquent? Throughout this essay I am going to look at both sides of the argument, and offer an insight into the theoretical and sociological approaches surrounding this nature vs. nurture debate. The