Interactionist Theories

Interactionist Theories - an individual. These factors...

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Interactionist Theories 1. Differential Association Theory -- Explains deviance as behavior that is learned in the same way as conformity - through interaction with other people. More specifically, deviant behavior is learned through differential association , or social relationships oriented toward particular types of people, such as criminals ("Bad crowd" theory). People will tend to be conformists if their socialization emphasizes respect for prevailing norms, but they will tend to become deviant if their socialization encourages contempt for such norms. -- According to DA theorists everyone associates with both conformists and deviants, but certain factors determine when deviant influences will have a stronger impact on
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Unformatted text preview: an individual. These factors include: (*Illustrate with discussion of associations and experiences of "con artist" subculture) 1) intensity of contacts with others (more likely to be influenced by intimates). 2) age of contacts (more powerful when person is younger) 3) ratio of contacts (the more one associates with deviants vs. conformists, the more likely s/he is to become deviant). Problems - although it explains certain forms of deviance, it neglects others which don't require direct instruction (e.g., check forgery) or which may be learned through contact with conforming citizens; Also fails to explain how some acts become defined as deviant. .....
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