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  • Created on: 31-05-12 10:36

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.


Sutherland (1939) Differential association


–    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 behaviour.


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 acceptable.


5)                 The specific direction of motives and attitudes is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable.


–                 Cultural norms can conflict with


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