reaction paper 5&6

reaction paper 5&6 - Alicia Deal 02-23-06 1 CJ 760...

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Alicia Deal 02-23-06 Reaction Paper #5/6 Option 2: To verify your understanding of the debate over the concepts of cultural deviance versus differential association, in your own words (and, perhaps using a real or hypothetical example), summarize Akers’s argument in “Is differential association/social learning cultural deviance theory?” One criticism of both theories is that “it made wrong assumptions about human behavior and the role of culture in deviant behavior” (Akers, 1998, 228). “The shortcomings attributed to cultural deviance theory” have wrongfully, according to Akers been used as “a critique” of both theories. Cultural deviance theory is based largely on the assumption of conflict between cultures, in which the focus is on group rather than individual decisions to deviate. Nonetheless, Akers clearly demonstrates that differential association and social learning theory are not also cultural deviance theory. The notion that differential association and social learning theory are “pure” models of cultural deviance came first from Ruth Kornhauser in 1953. Kornhauser argued that Sutherland stated that “socialization is perfectly successful,” he meant that “individuals are incapable of violating the cultural norms of any group in which they belong” (Akers, 1998, 229). In other words, differential association, if this is in fact correct, is not a “principle of individual behavior”, rather it is a “group principle,” and more specifically, a cultural deviance theory. According to this line of thinking, differential association implies that individuals cannot deviate; only groups or cultures can deviate since the individuals belonging to a specific group are conforming to the norms of that group.
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2011 for the course CJ 760 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Sam Houston State University.

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reaction paper 5&6 - Alicia Deal 02-23-06 1 CJ 760...

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