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In explaining the emergence and existence of crime Sutherland resorted to the Differentiatial Principal. The Principals developed by Sutherland state that an individual is easily lured into wrong doings due to negative conditions that make up his environment. Such conditions favor violation of the law. This means that while majority of the people view the criminal activities as wrong, for them they view such activities from a positive angle.
The Learning of Criminal Behavior
Learning is through an individual's interaction with other people. Learning is mainly carried out within ones closely associated groups. Learning involves the acquiring of various techniques and attitudes. Positive view of criminal behavior is the source of the motive. Criminal behavior is caused by positive view outweighing the negative view on criminal behaviors. The principle varies in frequency, duration, intensity, and priority. Both criminal and non-criminal patterns scenes are involved in learning. While criminal behavior is an expression of values, it is not explained by values (Barbara, 1998).
John Gotti, who happens to be our specimen for this study was born in a poor family. Being brought up in Brooklyn, he happened to be seeing the gangsters in his neighborhood. His familiarity with the gangsters made him to positively identify with them contrary to majority of the dwellers of Brooklyn. He happened to see their positivism: they could get all that they wanted contrary to his poor family. He at the age of 12 decides to join the gangs. He started with small gangster activities and later was full flown. Continued involvement with the gangs made him to learn more and more techniques hence identifying himself more with the criminal gangs.
Merton is the architect of the Strain Theory. In this theory he tries to bring out the various causes of crime. In this theory, Merton argues, is easily noticed in people with low economic status asserts that such individuals develop a strain to get what they don't have but they have seen others with. This is in the spirit of competition. The reaction to the strain is what determines if pone will join a criminal gang or not. This theory best applies to people of lower economics status as their needs are just the same as the ones for everyone else but the means of satisfying this needs happen to be less (Gregg, Paul & Jeanne, 2007).
Merton goes ahead in giving the possible actions taken in relations to the strains that the individuals face. He puts these responses into three categories. These three categories are Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism and Rebellion. Conformers are those who have accepted the state of their current situation and believe they can not get what others have. Innovators are the hardworking individuals that work to acquiring what others have. Ritualism is a reaction as to when a person does away with anything that has to do with what other people have. When one rejects the justified means to earn wealth and also rejects to have what other people have, this is called retreatism. Rebellion is when an individual uses wrong means to get the wealth or what other people have (Yves, 2008).
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Having analyzed and gone through the two theories I find that Gottis falls within Merton's theory of Strain. The fact that Gottis was born and grew up in a poor family is its qualification that throws him into the strain theory. Since he hated the nature of poverty and decided to get into Gangster hood puts him in the category of rebellion as he tries to use a wrong mechanism to get what other people had. He really wanted to get what other people had hence was led to looking up to the gangsters who actually had the wealth. Gottis believed in the justification of the means by the end as he decided to leave education which could still be a bridge to acquiring property and resorted to crime as a means of getting what others had (Tim & Eugene, 2010).
Jerome Skolnicks Classification of gangs
Jerome Skolnick, in his works categorizes crime into two. He categorizes them into neighborhood and street based gangs. He argues that the groups carry out their criminal activities in a manner to protect their areas of operation. He argues that this gangs are typically in a war with each other.Skolnick argues that this gangs have loose leadership and are always trying to rival each other. He argues that gangs are not just limited to the lower class but even exist in the upper class (Charles, 2009).
The gang that is well organized and their main goal is gaining the huge profits from their criminal activity is called Entrepreneurial gang. Skolnick characterizes this gang as being with fewer members and have loyalty conditions that are well defined. He cites for instance that for one to join this gang they must pass through a thorough initiation exercise. This gang usually has narrow age gap. Activities such as drug abuse and black market characterize them (Paul & Leach, 1998).
The Drug Disciples
The Drug Disciples is a well set example of an entrepreneurial gang. They are involved in activities such as drug trafficking and robbery. Based in the State of Chicago, they gang is said to be having more than 30,000 followers. The members are male and have close age gaps. Their main goal is the trafficking of drugs and they will go an extra mile in doing this in order to make the cash as such a very good citation of an entrepreneurial gang.
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