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Criminal Theory: Differential Association

Uploaded by CaseyP on May 24, 2017

Criminal Theory: Differential Association
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Criminal Theory: Differential Association
The theory of differential association is one of the highly valuable theoretical approaches in criminology studies. This is due to its potential in incorporating sociological perspective to explain crime and deviance. The theory was developed by Edwin Sutherland in 1939 (Akers, 2013); it marked a breakthrough in criminology as prior to that, most criminological research lacked a common framework that guided research and basis for evaluation of findings. This research paper examines the criminal theory of differential association, highlighting its relation with Pine Hills’ experiment and impact on Freud’s theory.
Theory of Differential Association and Pine Hills’ Experiment
The differential association theory has been very instrumental in inspiring the criminal abstract’s revision, as well as improvements, facilitating further empirical studies and application in national policies and programs on crime. The theory was based on certain components which include: delinquent behavior is learned, it is learned through communication as young people interact, the learning process mainly occurs during association in personal groups, learning includes the techniques of committing crimes, and differential associations vary with regards to various factors such as frequency, intensity, priority and duration (Akers, 2013). It is through these components that the Pine Hills’ experiment was established with an aim of treating delinquents through the process of learning non- criminal behaviors, hence, acquiring good values.
The Pine Hills’ experiment involved providing a suitable environment for delinquents so as to give them (children) a chance to experience changes from their delinquent behaviors. At the beginning, the children were required to publicly express their expectations of changing or not changing their behaviors by the end of the treatment. A halfway house established in 1956 (Pine Hills) was the treatment where the boys spent part of each day despite living at home and being free members of the community (Andresen, 2014). However, the boys were assigned responsibilities in the Pine Hills facility where decision making based on peer groups was emphasized. After the effective completion of the program, successful individuals were rewarded through status and recognition for their persistence to finalize the program, as well as their ability to be of service to others. The experiment only considered boys of the age of 15- 17 years with a criminal record and only 20 boys were involved in the experiment at once. The boys were picked at random without interfering with the judicial process...

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Uploaded by:   CaseyP

Date:   05/24/2017

Category:   Law

Length:   3 pages (782 words)

Views:   1018

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