Media And The Differential Association Theory

731 words - 3 pages

The differential association theory by Edwin H. Sutherland, explains why some members of a community become criminals and some do not. This theory is divided into eight principles that outline the reasoning for illicit conducts. In the movie Ocean Elevens, this theory really showcases each of the elements in which crime is fostered through the many characters. In the following paragraphs, I intend on explaining three of the eight differential association’s theory principles and apply them to Ocean’s Eleven.
The fourth principle in Sutherland’s differential association theory states, when criminal behavior is learned, the learning includes (a) techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes very simple; (b) the motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes to justify criminal actions. A great example of this principle would be: a high school student must learn from a peer on how to roll and smoke a marijuana joint in order to get the desirable high and then he must explain his reasoning for smoking the joint. In the movie, Danny Ocean teaches and plans out this massive operation in order to get what he desires. The justification for committing the robbery was, Terry Benedict stole Oceans lover making Terry a crook in Oceans eyes. Another character in the movie also felt that Terry Benedict must be dealt with as Terry bankrupted other casinos. There were many risks at hand when Danny Ocean put this plan into action but he had no worries for he trusted his partner in crime, Rusty Ryan and he trusted the training and expertise of his recruits. This principle outlines the practice and the reasoning’s for illicit activities.
The sixth principle in Sutherland’s differential association theory states, the specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. When a group or an individual is on the verge of committing a crime, they must contemplate the pros and cons of the crime. With crime comes risk and the more severe the crime; the greater the risk. For instance, when an individual sneaks into the theatre they are...

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