Differential Association Theory Essay

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Differential Association Theory is a criminology theory that looks at the acts of the criminal as learned behaviors. Edwin H. Sutherland is accredited with the development of the Differential Association theory in 1939. Sutherland, a sociologist, and professor most of his life, developed Differential Association theory to explain how it was that criminals came to commit acts of deviant behavior. Under the differential association theory, there is no biological or genetic basis for criminal behavior. The learning of such behavior took place within a group already knowledgeable about and engaged in criminal behavior. The education includes how to commit crimes and all the rationalizations for doing so. Criminal behaviors are reinforced by hearing them referred to in positive terms. Respect for social norms such as following the law is held in contempt by the group. Two of the nine propositions that Sutherland came up with to explain the Differential Association theory was that criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication and the principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups. These propositions are established in the movie Blow as follows. When George and his childhood friend Tuna decided to travel to Los Angeles, a whole new world opened…show more content…
George wants to engage in this behavior because he is getting greedy and is in search of more profit. While the demand grows, George starts buying drugs directly from Mexico with the help of a few Mexican drug lords. This is his motive, George’s drug abuse and chaotic, rich lifestyle pushes him to another level where the cause of crime is no longer

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