Sociologists attempt to understand why members of a society engage in deviant and criminal behavior. From a macro perspective, deviance occurs when the means to achieve culturally defined goals are blocked. This may be due in part to structural inequalities and power imbalances. On the micro level, there are three theories that provide explanations for deviance and crime. Consider how socialization influences individuals to choose deviant and criminal behavior. Becker, Sutherland and Hirschi have three different theories about how socialization contributes to such behavior. Becker’s theory is called labeling theory, Sutherland’s is called differential association theory, and Hirschi’s is known as control theory. Each provides a unique explanation to help us understand deviance and crime in our everyday lives. Write an essay that highlights your understanding of deviance and crime. In your response be sure to define deviance and crime and explain the three micro level theories of Becker, Sutherland and Hirschi.
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