- A theory of crime and delinquency pioneered by Edwin Sutherland in the 1930s, as a response to the dominant multi-factorial approaches to crime causation, associated particularly with the work of Eleanor (Glueck) and Sheldon Glueck. In contrast to their account, which identified long lists of factors which might contribute to crime causation, Sutherland aimed to build an integrated and sociological theory which stressed that crime was basically a learned phenomenon. The theory was elaborated and refined in various editions of Sutherland's highly influential textbook Principles of Criminology (later co-authored with Donald Cressey), and came to be presented in nine propositions, the most central of which argued that ‘a person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favourable to violation of law over definitions unfavourable to violation of law’. Criminal behaviour was learned by individuals being in contact with situations where criminality was defined favourably. Arguably, therefore, the theory is as much one of differential definitions as differential association.The theory was highly influential in deviance and delinquency research, making the explanation of crime largely a matter of ordinary learning processes, rather than biological predisposition. Although it was frequently attacked for being too general and failing to deal adequately with individualistic crimes like embezzlement, the proponents of the theory responded by making it ever more refined and testable, as well as applying it to a wider range of individual deviant phenomena, often using the vocabulary of motives argument to clarify the social nature of even solitary crimes.
Dictionary of sociology. 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
Differential association — Criminology and penology Theories Causes and correlates of crime Anomie Differential association theory Deviance … Wikipedia
differential association — a theory that criminal and deviant behavior is learned through close and frequent association with criminal or deviant behavior patterns, norms, and values. * * * … Universalium
differential association — noun : abnormal distribution of personal associations; specifically : a theory in sociology: continuous contact with criminals is chiefly responsible for the development of criminal behavior in an individual * * * a theory that criminal and… … Useful english dictionary
differential opportunity structure — A theory of delinquency developed by Richard A. Cloward and Lloyd B. Ohlin. In their book Delinquency and Opportunity(1960), they attempt to link the Mertonian theory of anomie to the Chicago School tradition of cultural transmission and… … Dictionary of sociology
Differential diagnosis — Intervention MeSH D003937 A differential diagnosis (sometimes abbreviated DDx, ddx, DD, D/Dx, or ΔΔ) is a systematic diagnostic method used to identify the presence of an entity where multiple alternatives are … Wikipedia
Differential susceptibility hypothesis — According to the differential susceptibility hypothesis by Belsky individuals vary in the degree they are affected by experiences or qualities of the environment they are exposed to. Some individuals are more susceptible to such influences… … Wikipedia
Differential geometry of surfaces — Carl Friedrich Gauss in 1828 In mathematics, the differential geometry of surfaces deals with smooth surfaces with various additional structures, most often, a Riemannian metric. Surfaces have been extensively studied from various perspectives:… … Wikipedia
Differential-GPS — DGPS Referenzantenne (Chokering Antenne) Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS, „Globales Positionssystem (mit) Differential(signal)“) ist eine Bezeichnung für Verfahren, die durch das Ausstrahlen von Korrekturdaten (Bahn und Zeitsystem)… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Differential GPS — DGPS Referenzantenne (Chokering Antenne) Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS, „Globales Positionssystem (mit) Differential(signal)“) ist eine Bezeichnung für Verfahren, die durch das Ausstrahlen von Korrekturdaten (Bahn und Zeitsystem)… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities — The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities [http://www.abrf.org (ABRF)] is dedicated to advancing core and research biotechnology laboratories through research, communication, and education. ABRF members include over 700 scientists… … Wikipedia