The Full Wiki

Edwin Sutherland: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edwin H. Sutherland (born August 13, 1883, Gibbon, Nebraska, U.S. died October 11, 1950, Bloomington, Indiana) was an American sociologist. He is considered as 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. Sutherland earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1913.


Background and Early Education

Edwin H. Sutherland grew up and studied in Ottawa, Kansas, and Grand Island, Nebraska. In 1904 he received the B.A degree from Grand Island College, and after that, he taught Latin, Greek, history, and shorthand for two years at Sioux Falls College in South Dakota. In 1906 he left Sioux Falls College and entered graduate school at the University of Chicago from which he received his doctorate. He changed his major from history to sociology. Much of his study was influenced by Chicago school's approach to the study of crime that emphasized human behavior as determined by social and physical environmental factors, rather than genetic or personal characteristics[1].


After completing graduate studies he was employed at the University of Minnesota between 1926 and 1929 and solidified his reputation as one of the country’s leading criminologists. During this period, his focus was on sociology as a scientific enterprise whose goal was the understanding and control of social problems, including crime. In 1930, Sutherland accepted a position as a research professor at the University of Chicago[2]. He then moved to University of Illinois[3]. He finally took a position at Indiana University where he remained till the end of his career. He became the founder of the Bloomington school of criminology at Indiana University. During that time, he published 3 books, including Twenty Thousand Homeless Men (1936), The Professional Thief (1937), and the third edition of Principles of Criminology (1939). He was elected president of the American Sociological Society in 1939, and was elected president of the Sociological Research Association in 1940.


He was the author of the leading text Criminology, published in 1924, first stating the principle of differential association in the third edition retitled Principles of Criminology (1939:4-8) that the development of habitual patterns of criminality arise from association with those who commit crime rather than with those who do not commit crime. The theory also had a structural element positing that conflict and social disorganisation 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, Edwin H. (1924) 'Principles of Criminology' Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Sutherland, Edwin H. (1936) With Locke, H.J. '24,000 Homeless Men' Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott
  • Sutherland, Edwin H. (ed); Conwell, Chic (pseudonym) (1937). The Professional Thief: by a Professional Thief. Annotated and Interpreted by Edwin H. Sutherland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 37-036112.  
  • Sutherland, Edwin H. (1942) `Development of the Theory,' in Karl Schuessler (ed.) Edwin H. Sutherland on Analyzing Crime, pp. 13-29. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Sutherland, Edwin H. (1949) 'White Collar Crime' New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston.
  • Sutherland, Edwin H. (1950) 'The Diffusion of Sexual Psychopath Laws' American Journal of Sociology, Issue 56: pp. 142-8


External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address