The Current State of Differential Association Theory

  title={The Current State of Differential Association Theory},
  author={Ross L. Matsueda},
  journal={Crime \& Delinquency},
  pages={277 - 306}
  • R. Matsueda
  • Published 1 July 1988
  • Psychology
  • Crime & Delinquency
With his theory of differential association, Sutherland attempted to identify universal mechanisms that explain the genesis of crime regardless of the specific concrete structural, social, and individual conditions involved. In this article, I discuss the development of the theory and then assess its strengths and weaknesses. After finding Kornhauser's (1978) influential critique of differential association theory to be oversimplified and misguided, I review recent empirical tests. I argue that… 
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