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Turning To Crime What Are The Causes of Criminal Behaviour?
1.2 Learning from Others
Family isn't the only influence on criminality.
`Got in with the bad crowd' is a phrase which we often hear.
Friendship groups can profoundly affect criminality.
This is usually more common during adolescent years.
Sutherlands theory was presented in the form of nine principles:
1) Criminal Behaviour is learnt:
Behaviours of an individual are shaped by the influence of other individuals that
they associate with.
2) Criminal Behaviour is learnt in interaction with other persons in a
process of communication:
From the moment of birth, an individual begins to be accustomed to norms of
society. They learn roles of gender through interaction with parents and
observations of gender specific characteristics. Criminality is more prevalent in
individuals who associate and interact with individuals who exhibit delinquent
3) The principle part of the learning of criminal behaviour occurs within
intimate personal groups:
The primary influence on an individuals behaviour is their family. In addition to
this, other influences include peer groups and other individuals who they share an
intimate relationship with.
4) Learning criminal behaviour involves learning the techniques, motives,
drives, rationalizations, and attitudes:
Criminals are not inherently deviant, they learn this deviance. They have been
taught to rationalise what they once knew to be unacceptable behaviour to be
5) The specific direction of motives and attitudes is learned from
definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable.
Module G453 Turning To Crime Upbringing
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Cultural norms can conflict with norms of society.
6) A person becomes a criminal when there is an excess of definitions
favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of
This is the dominant premise of the Differential Association theory. Because an
individual associates with more members of a group who favour deviance than
those who favour societal norms, they are more inclined to act defiantly.…read more
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The approach used is behaviourism. A strength of behaviourism is that is tends to
predict the behavior in certain circumstances. The possibility to predict gives the
key to controlling the behaviour and therefore is good in avoiding unnecessary
reactions. The idea of rewards and punishment of behaviorism can sometimes be
useful in order to teach required behaviour, especially with kids, in order to make
their reactions socially acceptable. Therefore if used professionally right it may
help to help a person adjust in the society.…read more