Analysis Of Robert Merton's Strain Theory

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Strain theory is a crime theory that was developed by Robert Merton, an American sociologist. According to Robert, strain can be defined as the discrepancies that result from the goals that are culturally defined in reference to the means that are institutionalized and available to meet the set goals. As proposed by Merton, there exists a typological deviance that is based on two criteria; an individual’s belief in how the goals should be attained and an individual’s adherence or motivation to cultural goals. According to the theory, certain stressors or strains are responsible in increasing the likelihood of crime activities around the world. The stressors increase the negative emotions, which in turn create pressure for the purpose of a corrective action. The corrective actions mostly come in form of criminal activities that are applied in order to alleviate from the strain or to revenge the source of the stress. For instance, individuals that have been associated with chronic lack of employment mostly engage in crimes such as drug dealing or theft in order to obtain money that can be used to make them feel…show more content…
This is because the strain theory is based on the typology of deviance from the cultural goals and the institutional means that have been defined to meet the set cultural goals. When students do the assignments, it means that they have accepted assignments as a cultural goal that has been set. However, when the students cheat or plagiarize their work, they do not agree to the institutional means that have been set as the correct means of meeting the cultural goals. Cheating and plagiarizing assignments reflect a typological behavior of innovation, which means they accept the set goals but reject the means of achieving the goals, hence defining their own means of achieving the goals through cheating and plagiarism; despite being
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