Sociologists believe several theories help to explain the behavior identify juvenile delinquent behavior. Many of them explain one type of juvenile delinquency better than other theories. The many theories identify the root source of the forces shaping juvenile behavior, whether the person is in fact the source a social, a social process, the social structure, or a reaction to the social environment. For example many young people today participate in shoplifting. The theory of differential association best explains this behavior. Shoplifting may be a sign of compulsive behavior that may be caused by something psychological , this explanation is only for certain cases. Other theories based on social and class differences also do not explain all of this behavior, since perpetrators do not need to be poor in order to steal. Shoplifting is a crime that makes no distinctions between social boundaries and other evidence of social stratification. Some juveniles do still because they are poor but most of juveniles who steal are not poor. Peer pressure is a huge factor in this, peer pressure also serves as a main aspect in differential association theory. Edwin Sutherland came up with differential association theory in the year 1939 in his text Principles of Criminology. He proposes an interpersonal conclusion of behavior based on three major assumptions: 1) human behavior is flexible; 2) learning occurs primarily in small, informal groups; and 3) the learning of behavior takes place through collective experiences as well as through specific situations. Differential association stands as a good formulation of the importance of peer pressure. Differential association represents a theory that explains the onset of delinquent behavior and points to the fact that juveniles learn delinquent behavior from peer groups. Placing juveniles in a deviant group creates an association which perpetuates deviance. Peer-group pressure stands as the strongest source of most delinquent behavior.
November 4, 2013