Sutherland, (1947): Theory of Differential Association
Background and Theory
The background to this study is Bandura (1961, 1977) and his Social Learning Theory.
Quick recap of Social Learning Theory:
- Vicarious Learning (Learning from others being rewarded or punished)
- People we learn from are called models
- Learning does not always result from direct actions
Therefore, Sutherland assumes that criminal behaviour is learnt. Secondly, it explains deviant behaviour through individuals social interactions and relationships. According to this theory, the people who become criminals do so because they associate with other criminals.
This study is categorised into Upbringing, and then ‘learning from others.’