Neutralisation as a Process of Graduated Desensitisation: Moral Values of Offenders
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This study explored neutralization as a process of graduated desensitization, providing a theoretical link between the opposing tenets of neutralisation theory and the subcultural theory of criminal behaviour Participants were 95 adult male offenders who were categorised according to type of offence (personal or property) and level of offending involvement (low or high). Offenders' excuse acceptance and offence approval were examined for S offence situations. The results indicated offenders' excuse acceptance varied as a function of their level of involvement in crime. Specifically, for property offence situations, low-involvement property offenders reported higher excuse acceptance than did high-involvement property offenders, whereas for personal offence situations, low-involvement personal offenders reported higher excuse acceptance than did high-involvement personal offenders. This finding partially supported the graduated desensitization hypothesis, providing an empirical link between neutralisation and the subcultural theory of criminal behaviour
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Copyright 1998 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.