The 2005 Sutherland Award Address was delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Toronto, Canada, November 16, 2005. When I look at the list of those who have received the Edwin H. Sutherland Award from the American Society of Criminology, I am humbled and grateful for this honor. I thank Travis Hirschi, Rob Sampson, and Rick Rosenfeld for their insightful comments on an earlier version of this paper. I also thank Elaine Eggleston Doherty and Sarah Boonstoppel for their superb research assistance.
EDWIN H. SUTHERLAND AND THE MICHAEL-ADLER REPORT: SEARCHING FOR THE SOUL OF CRIMINOLOGY SEVENTY YEARS LATER*
Article first published online: 7 FEB 2006
Volume 44, Issue 2, pages 235–258, May 2006
How to Cite
LAUB, J. H. (2006), EDWIN H. SUTHERLAND AND THE MICHAEL-ADLER REPORT: SEARCHING FOR THE SOUL OF CRIMINOLOGY SEVENTY YEARS LATER. Criminology, 44: 235–258. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2281.2001.0382a.x
- Issue published online: 7 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 7 FEB 2006
- differential association theory;
- sociological positivism;
- life-course criminology
In response to a devastating critique of the state of criminology known as the Michael-Adler Report, Edwin H. Sutherland created differential association theory as a paradigm for the field of criminology. I contend that Sutherland's strategy was flawed because he embraced a sociological model of crime and in doing so adopted a form of sociological positivism. Furthermore, Sutherland ignored key facts about crime that were contrary to his theoretical predilections. Recognizing that facts must come first and that criminology is an interdisciplinary field of study, I offer life-course criminology as a paradigm for understanding the causes and dynamics of crime. In addition, I identify three warning signs that I believe inhibit the advancement of criminology as a science and a serious intellectual enterprise.