SOC 2760 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Temporality, Edwin Sutherland, Differential Association

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13 Feb 2017

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Edwin Sutherland
Deviance is a learned behaviour
How is deviance learned?
Differential association: it has to do w something that takes place in the
association b/w peers
Sutherland: Differential Association
Learned thru communication as well
Like all behaviour, deviant behaviour is learned
Communication with others
Significance of meaningful others
Learn technique, moves, drives and attitudes: almost all forms of
deviant beh (crime) all involve tech like u need to learn how to steal and
then sell ur product, and you aren’t born w this, overtime u need to devl
the motives and the drive to steal
Learn to see laws as being favourable or unfavourable : look at ppl
who get in trouble w law theres always something in their life that shows
theres a role model where the individual has earned to see the law in a (-)
Sutherland: Differential Associaton
Deviance & excess exposure to unfavourable
definitions of law
•DA may vary in frequency (how often we associate w these ppl),
duration (how much time u spend w ppl who see the law as bad), priority (how
much do u value these ppl), or intensity (rrly high in emotional intensity and
those moments make deviant beh more likely)
Differential Association examples
o Police corruption (self interested) officers take money or drugs illegally:
press release happens if one police man gets caught the chief usually
says its only this guy that is a bad apple, however DA suggests that
deviance is learned so there must be another guy who has taught him
deviant behaviour, find duration frequency and priority in this case
o Deviant beh is slowly learned over a long period of time (on the run book)
Differen'al Associa'on: Examples
& Blankenship (2005)
find more resources at
find more resources at
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