Part one of Sutherland and Cressey's differential association theory explains that criminal behavior is learned. Applying this to Nate and Sam involves explicating their childhood and how they were raised. From a young age both Nate and Sam were conditioned by their father, Big Willie to be aggressive, and that in life you have to take what you want (take home outline). Nate and Sam's father unknowingly conditioned them in a harsh way that made them susceptible to becoming date rapists. As a result of their aggressive upbringing Nate and Sam must succeed in their group of guy friends, the "Mac Daddies," at any cost.
Part three of the differential association theory states, the principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups. Nate and Sam's criminal behavior was learned in the home. Their father's philosophy in life of you have to take what you want in life contributed to his children's deviant identities. Nate and Sam act how they were taught. The motto of the "Mac Daddies,"no rules, just sex," also influences the boy's behavior.
This motto is significant in how Nate and Sam deal with women. They are going to take what they want using an aggressive style of behavior, because that is what they were taught. Part four of the differential association theory states, when criminal behavior is learned, the learned includes (a) techniques of committing the crime, which are sometimes very complicated, sometimes very simple; (b) the specific direction of motive, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. Nate and Sam learned to be aggressive and take what you want in life from their father.
In order to stay in competition for "Mac Master" they had to use these techniques. Their competitive background resulted in them becoming date rapists to increase their point totals in their sexual competition. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violation of law over definitions unfavorable to violation of law. Since the boy's were raised in an environment that taught aggressive behavior without limits as to what one can achieve, the boys, used this behavior in a negative way and became date rapists. The manner in which the boys were raised was negative; therefore, criminal behavior was enforced as opposed to neutral or positive behavior. Part six of the differential association theory states, differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity.
In Sutherland and Cressey's chapter 8 they state, "'Priority' is assumed important in the sense that lawful behavior developed in early childhood may persist throughout life, and also that delinquent behavior developed in early childhood may persist throughout life (Constructions of Deviance, 76)." This statement is significant as to how Nate and Sam developed into date rapists. Since their family life taught them to be aggressive in any situation in life they have no other positive concepts to use. When Nate forces his date rapist ways on to Marcy at the University of Kansas he undergoes an informal labeling process. The identity career involves seven stages: getting caught and publicly identified, retrospective interpretation, spoiled Identity, exclusion, inclusion, people treat you as a deviant, and the individual comes to regard himself as deviant. The first stage, getting caught and publicly identified applies to Nate because Marcy confided in her circle of friends.
He will be identified in his group of friends as a date rapist and will experience some changes in his life. After being caught he will be singled out and labeled as a deviant informally. His friends will not associate with him in fear that they to will be given the deviant label. His future becomes tainted by his actions.
The second stage of Retrospective interpretation causes Nate to look back on his actions and analyze his behavior. He will attempt to figure out what he did wrong if anything. The third stage is the Spoiled Identity. Before being identified as a date rapist, Nate had a normal life.
Now that he had been identified as mentioned in stage 1 of the Identity career, he now has a spoiled identity. No longer will his friends associate him with anything else other than being a date rapist. Nate may experience slanderous comments from his peers. His prior lifestyle will evolve into a new negative identity associated with being a date rapist. Since Nate has now been classified as a deviant, he will be excluded from many things. His friends may choose not to associate with him anymore in fear that they may be looked negatively at.
If Nate was apart of student government or something of that nature, he might be dismissed if rumors spread because people don't want to mix with criminals. His new identity ignites fear in his friends who may believe that if he is capable of date rape than he is capable of more heinous crimes. This stage is the exclusion stage. After the exclusion stage comes the inclusion stage. Since Nate is now labeled as a deviant. Other deviants will seek him out because they think he is cool.
Nate might experience a shift in who he hangs out with. He might start hanging around more criminal prone individuals. These Individuals are members of society that also carry the label of being a deviant. Nate's new status is a magnet attracting individuals of the same status. In the fifth stage of the Identity Career people treat you as a deviant. It is evident that Nate has been labeled a date rapist in his peer group; he now has a deviant identity.
His group of friends will begin to treat him as one. He may experience rejection and prejudice that accompany the label of deviant. He is no longer considered a respectable member of society and his friends will choose not to treat him as one. He will constantly have to deal with the feeling of being watched. In the final stage of the labeling theory Nate will come to regard himself as deviant.
This stage is where the deviant begins to internalize the label that he is given and copes with it. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that accepts the new label that is assigned to an individual. In Nate's case he is labeled a date rapist (deviant), therefore, he is outcast from his friends. After all of the stages have completed Nate will accept his label and deal with it. At the University of Nebraska Sam has just gotten himself into a lot of trouble. When Abby reports the date rape incident with Sam to the police he will begin the (formal) official labeling process.
Official Labeling Process (formal) 1. Caught by the authorities 2. Pre-trial investigation 3. Trial/Court 4.
Sentencing 5. Incarceration 6. Depersonalization 7. Forced adoption of official deviant status & identity The effects of the formal labeling process are harsh. Sam will go through a series of events that will completely destroy his credibility in society.
The process of being caught by the authorities involves degrading ceremonies such as wearing handcuffs, taking mug shots, and submitting fingerprints. In addition to being arrested members of his community will know that the police categorize him as a deviant. During the pre-trial investigation, authorities may interview Sam's neighbors, his employer or his friends to gather information. During stage three of the official labeling process Sam's story will reach the media, which will expose his deviant ways to the public. After a trial Sam will be sentenced if found guilty and become susceptible to more negative publicity.
His actions will be recorded in a criminal record that will follow him for the rest of his life. This is extremely significant in that he can no longer do anything in the present or future without his actions being disclosed. Incarceration may expose Sam to some humiliating events including a full body cavity search. Sam will begin to assume his new role of a deviant. The prison suit he will adorn will be a reminder of his loss of individual identity. He will receive an inmate number and will be completely depersonalized.
His new role in prison eventually forces Sam to adopt the label and status of a deviant. The official labeling process will completely ruin his life, present and future. The SAR program that Nate attends in the mountains shows signs of a form of Goffman's "near total institution." Goffman's Total Institution 1. Cut off from society 2. Total control 3. Total subordination The SAR program somewhat fits the first characteristic of the total institution.
Nate is admitted to a treatment center that does cut him off from society, but not entirely. He is not in a jail. The treatment program is an informal institution unlike a prison. The second characteristic of the total institution is inhibited by the treatment center. The SAR does have total control of Nate's behavior and time. He is isolated in the mountains in a treatment program.
There is no way for him to use his aggressive tendencies in society while admitted to the SAR. The SAR is all encompassing. The SAR is an informal institution; therefore, it does not administer total subordination like a prison would. Nate is not stripped of his identity and depersonalized like he would be in a formal treatment center. I don't believe that the SAR program is effective in demanding total subordination from its members. An institution that would correspond with all of Goffman's characteristics of a total institution would be a state prison..