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Edwin H. Sutherland (1893–1950) is considered to be one of the most influential criminologists of the twentieth century. He was a sociologist of the symbolic interactionist school of thought and is best known for defining differential association which is a general theory of crime and delinquency that explains how deviants come to learn the motivations and the technical knowledge for deviant or criminal activity. Dr. Sutherland earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 1913.
He was the author of the leading text Criminology, published in 1924, first stating the principle of differential association in the third edition retitled Principles of Criminology (1939:4-8) that the development of habitual patterns of criminality arise from association with those who commit crime rather than with those who do not commit crime. The theory also had a structural element positing that conflict and social disorganisation are the underlying causes of crime because they determine the patterns of people associated with. This latter element was dropped when the fourth edition was published in 1947. But he remained convinced that social class was a relevant factor, coining the phrase white-collar criminal in a speech to the American Sociological Association on December 27, 1939. In his 1949 monograph White-Collar Crime he defined a white-collar crime as "approximately as a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation."fr:Edwin Sutherland
Sutherland, Edwin H. (1942) `Development of the Theory,' in Karl Schuessler (ed.) Edwin H. Sutherland on Analyzing Crime, pp. 13-29. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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