Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun A Personal History of Violence in America

There are numerous theories that can be found in Canadas book. However, the focus of this essay will revolve around two theories namely differential association and social bonding.

Differential association as defined in criminology terms is a theory that explains that ways by which criminal activities are learned by individuals through various social interactions with different people. This theory suggests that a person might not necessarily want to learn the criminal ways of his generation but because of his exposure to human aspects of attitude, values and beliefs heshe learns the criminal ways. Furthermore, differential association suggests that an individual has a higher chance of being a criminal if the environment surrounding him advocates more to criminal activities that legalities. This environment of an individual plus the different interactions that heshe encounters adds up to the  learning base  of criminal activities of an individual. Choosing to do a criminal act or not is not the point but learning the criminal ways little by little or unconsciously will lead to criminal behavior which is strengthened by interactions an individual makes.

In Canadas book, differential association has played a huge role in undermining the personality development of each person. Canada recounts the numerous interactions and encounters that he has had with criminals and criminals activities. As a young kid, Canada was exposed to these environments and he recalls the time when he was asked to buy some pork and beans from the store. He then met a new friend at the store and while walking back home his new friend held him up in a corner and said  Give me you money . Another instance of exposure was when one of his brothers were robbed on the way home. This led Canada to bring a bladed knife for protection although he was also accidentally cut by his weapon. Later on, Canada recalls that their mother talked to them seriously and said that they live in a violent region and they all must stick together and be accustomed to their neighborhood.

Another theory that can be found in Canadas book is that of social bonding control. This theory simply means that the different relationships and interrelationships among people which also include their beliefs, and values plays an important role in encouraging an individual to follow or go against the law. This suggests that the social bonding that exists can greatly motivate an individual to accept or reject any ideas or concepts that they may have learned. Furthermore, in the book of Canada, Social bonding control is best exhibited by the scenario of their family and their mother. Canadas mother played the role of a real mother who took care of them and advised them to adhere to laws. Canada also recalls their mother saying,  I will not tolerate you becoming victims so better wise up.  Using the social bonding control theory, Canada and his brothers were led to the right path by her mother through the continuous provision of good values and advices which was backed up by a stronger family relationship soon after their father left them.


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