Social structure theorist believes that the solutions to why criminals commit crime is the neighborhoods they grew up in (Criminology and Justice). All the theories that fall under the social structure theory helps theorist determine why individuals join gangs as well. Significant studies by theorist was researched that the subcultural values affect a person decision (Criminology and Justice). Theorist believe that once a person is bought up in such a deviant environment they feel they have no other way
John Dillinger was one of the most notorious criminals in American history. He was known to be part of the most organized and deadly bank robbing gang and highly wanted by the FBI. John began his criminal behavior at a young age, initiating his urge to become a professional bank robber. Using the psychodynamic theory, social learning theory and the differential association theory, I hope to analyze the factors that triggered John Dillinger's criminal behavior that was present in his childhood, leading to his adulthood and how he managed to maintain his label as a thief. John Herbert Dillinger was born on June 22, 1903, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the youngest child to John Wilson Dillinger and Mary Ellen Lancaster.
Crime and criminal behaviors are very prevalent in popular culture in today’s society. Many movies include criminal aspects, which can be analyzed to see the theories of criminal behaviors in action. The film that will be reviewed in this paper is Chicago (2002). Chicago follows the story of Roxie Hart, including the murder of her boyfriend and her time in jail and on trial. The theory that best relates to this movie is Agnew’s General Strain Theory.
Social learning theory and social bonding theory are two theories that may be compared and contrasted because they both overlap and differ. Although these theories have their similarities and differences, one theory may prove to be more convincing in terms of applying the theory to the understanding of crime and delinquency. Social learning theory refers to Akers’ theory of crime and deviance. Akers attempted to specify the mechanism and processes through which criminal learning takes place by explaining crime and deviance; he did this in such a way that the likelihood of conforming or deviant behavior based on the influence of an individual’s history of learning was accounted for. This theory was based off Sutherland’s differential association theory, which had nine propositions outlining the process by which individuals acquire attitudes favorable to criminal or delinquent behavior with the basic idea that people tend to associate with others in which they come into contact.
Fifth, the specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. Sixth, a person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of the law. Seventh, Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. Eighth, the process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning. Lastly, while criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those needs and values, since non-criminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values.
The psychological explanations focus on the abnormalities within the individual, such as personality disorders. Psychological researcher found that some childhood experiences are likely to be linked to deviance. For example, some children who had bad toilet training experience, emotionally detached fathers and suffocating mothers tend to more likely become embezzlers. Psychological theories of deviance use a deviant’s psychology to explain someone’s want and urges to violate social norms. There are several fundamental assumptions that all psychological theories of deviance have in common.
The differential association theory has become the most talked about learning theory of deviance. The theory focuses on how individuals can learn to become criminals. The theory does not have concern for why individuals become criminals. Criminology is the knowledge regarding crime and delinquency as a social issue.
This theory explains that deviance is a learned behavior that results from continuous exposure to others who violate the norms and laws. It states that people commit crimes and deviant acts because they associate with other deviants. It is evident in the famous Albert Bandura “Bobo doll experiment”, that just the mere exposure to others is what teaches us what is acceptable behavior. The family home life is the foundation in which children learn attitudes and behaviors that influence their outcomes (Merrin, Hong, & Espelage, 2015).
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.
It is impossible to pinpoint one reason why people partake in deviant behavior. While a person’s own pathology may have some effect on whether a person will commit crime, I think that most acts of deviance are the result of their social environment. Different people react in their own way to different opportunities handed to them. Whether these responses to their environment are either “deviant” or “criminal” is determined by the society they are a part of. While Emile Durkheim discusses the effect of anomie on mental states, Robert K. Merton elaborates on the concept of anomie created by a society where success is based on material goods.
Deviance is defined as “nonconformity to a given set of norms that are accepted by a significant number of people in a community or society” (Essentials of Sociology, page 159). In other words, it is actions or things that we, as people, do not find to be the norm with the majority of our society. Crime can be considered a deviance act. For example, if someone were to shoplift it would be considered a deviance act because normally a person does not shoplift when at a store. But why do people commit deviance acts?
What is deviance? Deviance is the description of actions of behaviors that violate the social norms, or values of formally enacted rules in a current society or place. It is the extent that sociologists carry in the study of how the norms and values of deviance are created, and how they improve or decline over a period of time inside a society. Deviance is something that is already implemented into society, no matter what is done there will always be deviance towards the norms of that society. Looking into cultural values and norms we can affirm deviance, here we can truly see what values and norms are currently accepted into that society and what is not accepted.
Retrieved November 14, 2015, from http://www.sparknotes.com/sociology/deviance/section1.rhtml). Norms dictate what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior across cultures. One category of deviance is crime, which occurs when someone violates a society's formal laws. Criminal deviance include a wide range of behavior, from minor traffic violations to arson to murder. For instance, a man robbing a store and someone driving over the speed limit, both fit into this category.
It is an area which many great sociologists have focused some of their work around, for example Durkheim and Marx. These sociologists are considered to be the ‘founding fathers’ of sociology. They were some of the first people to use the study of society and its interactions within as an academic study. Sociologists created such terms as ‘boundary maintenance’ – society exists in solidarity and conformity within a boundary. Outside such a boundary, there are incidences of crime and deviance.