Exclusive interview with E. H. Sutherland

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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.


The theory also had a structural element positing that conflict and social disorganization 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.
Sutherland's Response. Criminology is a fascinating field and because of my curious nature and natural passion for intrigue. I joined this profession and as you are already aware that the distinctive feature of criminology since the 1930s has been the dominance of sociology among the various disciplines studying crime and criminal justice. ...
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