Differential Association Theories: Helix Charter High School

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Between the years of 2010 to 2014 I attended a high school in southern California called Helix Charter High School. Within my school there were many cliques that majority of the students were grouped in. Differential association theory is “based upon the idea that criminals commit crimes based upon their association with other people” and this theory can be found throughout my old high school (Schubert, n.d.). For example, in my high school there were a group of students that were called “potheads” and they all hung out together often. They were not focused in their studies and usually came to class high. And I had a friend that used to be an excellent student until he became friends with a “pothead” and began to smoke and sell marijuana. According to the textbook called Criminology: Theories, Patterns,…show more content…
In addition, some high school students may not like the clique they are associated with and try to fit into a “popular” group. For example, I had another friend that wanted to hang out with the “popular” students. He was invited to a party but there was not alcohol so they told him if he stole a couple of bottles from the nearby CVS, he could hang out with them. They showed him how to steal a bottle of alcohol from the store and told him to do it after. He committed the crime and was able to get away with it because the store policy says that they cannot chase them. Although differential association can be seen in high schools it can also be seen through different groups of adults because it based on who they associate themselves with and if they involve themselves in criminal activity. Differential association theory plays a huge role in high schools because students learn to commit crimes due to the association of those around them and can influence their behaviors (Siegel,
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