Differential association basically states that an individual becomes a criminal because of a genetic predisposition to crime. In other words he cannot help the fact that he is a criminal because it is in his genetic make-up. Because of this he is unable to change himself when he is presented with the various situations that happen to him as he grows into a life of crime.
According to Sutherland there are 9 ways that an individual "comes to engage in criminal behavior" (p. 56). These 9 ways are listed here:
1. The behavior is learned-- according to this statement an individual learns to do crime and if it is genetic he takes to it easily. According to Sutherland a person does not invent crime or participate in it if they are not already trained to do it.
2. Criminal behavior happens as a result of people talking about it together. People will verbally talk about it and use gestures as they talk about it. This infers that the individual who is exposed to crime in this way will act it out as part of his description of it.
3. Usually crime is talked about in small groups that are personal and intimate. This is the major way that people learn how to do crime. Movies and newspapers do not influence criminal behavior.
4. Criminal behavior is very thorough in its teaching. The individual learns a) various techniques of how to commit the crime whether it is a simple or a complex crime and b) they also get a feel for the attitudes, motivations, beliefs and drives that are the reason the crime is committed.
5. Motives and drives for crime are based on the interpretation of the legal codes that govern a society that the group decides are "right." The interpretation of legal codes is either positive or negative. Societies differ in the way they interpret these laws. Some have a strong understanding that the laws should be observed while others feel they should be broken. Sutherland states that in America people get mixed...