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Social Processes and Crime

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The theory on differential association theory was founded brought up by an individual named Edwin Sutherland. It approaches the different reasons for violence in the society. Most theorists using genetic reasons say that some particular behavior sets in people are a product of their hereditary heritage. Alcoholism has already fit in that group of addictions claimed to be a function of genetics but Sutherland would beg to differ on that. He claims that violent behavior in particular is a function of being taught (Matsueada, 2006). Thus crime is a product of the learning processes that people go through in their up bringing.

At the level of the individual, differential association states that normative conflict in the society can translate to violent behavior at the individual basis. According to the theory, violence is a learned process from the intimate interactions that occur everyday between groups. Although, there are two components in learning that are needed for this to happen.  The first component is the requisite skills needed to pull off the crime. This is where circumstance from environment comes into the picture. Some high schools in neighborhoods that have high propensities for violence will tend to have common behavior within their walls.

In these institutions, students are probably adept at most types of crime and violence. These behaviors are passed to others through initiation, observation and click formation. Personal experiences at high school were similar as there were click formations and definitions to crime were some crimes were not as serious as others. This is also the second requirement according to the theory. Teenagers at my school used to justify themselves as being able to drive fine after a few drinks. Everything would be okay and forgotten if the situation went without incident.

Thus, teenagers do not feel the value or seriousness of an issue until it gets real and the consequences start to manifest. At the level of the group, however, it is as quite different as the reasons for normative conflict translates to the how the group behaves in relation to crime. According to the theory, the crime rate in a society is organized in such a way that tells whether the group is organized in favor of crime or against crime. Sutherland in this way went on to include social disorganization, which he termed as the weakness of a community to deal with crime.

It could be the community does not have the ability to instill shared values in its members; this especially happens in the big cities (Matsueada, 2006). The theory suggests that, here, people are not able to instill social controls because of the geography, mobility as well as poverty levels in some communities that drive people to illegal means to fend for themselves. Here Sutherland mentioned that the weak organization against crime was just a portion of the equation. The other part probably consists of cultural interference. This is such that most of the behaviors catalyzed by weak society were then instilled by the people living before.

In my neighborhood, old street gangs passed on their talents and territorial rites to the community they lived. In this way, the gang never really died out because there was new life to take its place and continue were it left off on criminal exploits.  The gang, in some cases, would be worse than their predecessors because they had a point to prove to the residents and rival gangs that they were to be taken seriously. This could all be avoided if the community takes steps to solve the problem at the base level in schools.

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