domestic violence using sutherlands differential association theory

Youth in America is more indulging in domestic violence acts as media and video games project violence nowadays. Attention to those elements in the society influencing domestic violent acts has become a serious matter since the incident at Columbine High School that took place on 20th of April, 1999. Analysts realize that major factor of today’s society that is negatively influencing our nation’s youth is media and video games. Is the assumption that means of entertainment are really factors in domestic violence is true?

Frustration and aggression created by media generally stimulates an aggressive response. Therefore, domestic violence becomes a way to release the stress resulted by a frustration environment and situation. A jobless husband, who cannot pay the utility bills or get a job, is more likely to beat his spouse (Zastrow, 2009).

Sociology theories deals and analyze societal elements influencing general public to commit domestic violent acts. Most popular theory that highlights societal factors is differential association theory presented by Edwin Sutherland (An Appraisal, 2003).

He states that criminal behavior causing the domestic violence is the outcome of a learning procedure that mainly takes place in closely associated groups that include family members, neighborhood peer groups, friends, and others like that.  An individual turns delinquent due to the dominance of factors encouraging to violation of law than factors discouraging violation of law. An individual’s decision regarding committing a domestic violent act is based on the type and characteristics of present and past relation with these significant factors. Human beings internalize the values of the society and culture around them. If a man is living in an environment where he is in frequent interaction with violent factors and infrequent interaction with non violent factors, he is more likely to get indulge in delinquent or violent activities (Zastrow, 2009) .That’s why many proponents of differential association theory of Edwin Sutherland have argued about the transmission of unethical behaviors to call for strict censorship in all the media forms, especially in violence on TV and in video games (Ainsworth, 2002).

1.      Zastrow, C., (2009). Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People, 291-292. Retrieved from’s+differential+association+theory.&source=bl&ots=b72xc0yIEf&sig=D0862qmVc0jLN9WqXsDcRPaUgkA&hl=en&ei=7ZLvS-CUAdGOONGYjK8I&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=44&ved=0CPYBEOgBMCs#v=onepage&q&f=false

2.      An Appraisal of Differential Association Theory, (2003). Retrieved from

3.      Ainsworth, P.B. (2002). Psychology and Criminal Behavior, in Y Jewkes & G Letherby (eds.). Criminology: A Reader, Sage Publications, London.

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