After consulting a criminological text such as The Fence: In the Shadow of Two Worlds, one comes to find that common criminal theories are not only evident in criminal society but also tie closely with criminal beliefs and values. The main focus of this particular case study, Sam Goodman, is a prime example to use when illustrating these theories" role in the criminal world. Discussions of his experiences in the criminal, and also non-criminal world help to shed light on how Sam has exhibited these theories throughout his life, sometimes unknowingly, because they had just been worked into his everyday routine. Using these theories proposed by several criminologists, one can trace Sam's descent into the criminal world, as well as his role in the criminal world. These theories become evident in the book from the start.
Sam did most of his criminal business in "American City" a pseudonym given to a real city. In the first couple pages of the book, Sam says, "I am going to get away from American City, too many temptations." [pg. 2] Here, one can infer from the start that Sam was associating himself with criminals and criminal activities, hence wanting to get away from American City the home of his criminal connections and criminal business. Utilizing Sutherland's Differential Association Theory, one can see that by being around other criminals, and possible "deals", that Sam was just opening his mind more to the criminal world, thus becoming the company that he kept - a criminal. In his mind, Sam believed that by getting away from the temptations and surrounding himself in "legit" business, that he would no longer be involved in the criminal scene. For the most part, this was probably correct. On a daily basis, Sam was dealing with criminals that thought like businessmen, basically allowing himself to believe that he was doing society a service, and running a business just like any other:.