Analysis Of The General Strain Theory

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In the 1960s, the General Strain theory was the go to theory to describe deviance. Although it was fought against by many researchers it still came out on top. The theory “is written at the social-psychological level…[and] focuses on the individual and his or her immediate environment” (Agnew, 1992, p.48). The theory mainly focuses on the strains that cause the deviant behavior to be committed. The General Strain theory differs from other theories in the point of strain. For example, the Control theory states that not having positive relationships push individuals into delinquency. There is a lot of reasons that strain can be brought upon individuals today, like financial struggles, education, fitting in, getting bullied, and many others. There…show more content…
For example, robbery can be brought upon by strain in an individual’s life. Most of the time robbery has to do with the possessions of the victim, the robber most likely is looking for money to serve their needs. In 2015, a woman robbed a Kmart for 190$ worth of baby formula (Times Leader). The reason that this example is good to describe the General Strain Theory is because this robbery was brought upon by the strain of not being financially stable while caring for a baby. This event has a lot to do with the first strain described, because this lady failed to meet the monetary success that she needs to afford baby food. Although, she most likely had the money to buy the baby formula but it would have put her in an even deeper financial hole. The point of this example is to show that because of the strain, it caused…show more content…
To obtain jobs and make enough money to support one’s self they most of the time require a college degree. With a college degree, comes debt and the stress to pay it back which defeats the purpose of monetary success. When this success is hard to come by, individuals may turn to legal means to achieve it. Like the example mentioned earlier about the lady stealing baby formula, an individual will do what they must do to get what they want. Without money could mean stealing or maybe selling illegal drugs (Brezina, 2017). This would mean that the lack of monetary success turned into deviance for these individuals which is exactly what the theory is stating. Another example of goal blockage could be working hard and not being compensated for that work. To put that in perspective, let’s say that there are two managers in a company and one of them gets fired. The company does not hire another manager to replace the old one because they do not think they need it so the one manager must do double the work for the same pay. This manager may become angry because of the work he or she is doing that they are not being paid double
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