Interactionist Perspective:Differential AssociationDifferential association is the first of two Interactionist perspectives. Goode (1997:87-90) contends that Edwin Sutherland's Differential Association Theory is one of the more important theories in the study of deviance. It arose as a critique to those theories that sought biological explanations for deviance. According to differential association theory, people learn to be deviant(see Henslin, 1999:198-99).Goode (1997) maintains that one learns deviance the same as one learns to brush their teeth. People learn to be deviant by associating with people who are deviant. Criminal knowledge, skills, values, traditions, and motives are passed on by word of mouth.A. Differential Association: Priority and Intensity:People develop deviant life styles when they deferentially associate with people who support norm violations. It is not especially necessary for people to associate with actual criminals, all that is needed is that criminal definitions are common.
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