1. How does Strain Theory define and explain deviance? Strain theory defines deviance as the situation whereby there exists a gap or difference between societal success goals and the determined means available to the society for achieving these goals. In a society, individuals share similar goals towards success and thus have agreeable means of achieving the same, however, when such an agreement is foregone such a society has a high rate of deviance.
There are many theories that suggest that crime is constructed socially, or is a product of the society in which the crime is committed. One such theory, proposed by Robert Merton, is known as strain theory. While strain theory is a useful model for explaining how societal values can drive people to commit crimes, it has several flaws and does not focus on how laws are made and how this contributes to the formation of crime. While Merton suggests that laws are created from consensus within a society, it will be argued that strain theory can also support the idea that laws are a “product of conflict” (Hagan 5).
Merton thought that most of the strain and frustration felt by people who could not achieve material wealth was due not necessarily so much to the failure to achieve conventional goals ( i.e., wealth) but rather to the differential emphasis placed on material and economic goals and the de-emphasis on the importance of conventional means (Tibbetts and Hemmons, 2010). In an ideal society, according to Merton, there would be an equal emphasis on goals and means. America, he argued, placed greater emphasis on goals over means. This he referred to as anomie. Anomie was a term that came from Durkheim. It is usually defined as normlessness or a lack of social regulation in society, and generally means that when there is a breakdown of institutionalized norms social values and standards no
Two of the most important concepts are the Strain theory by Robert K. Merton and General Strain theory by Robert Agnew. Strain theory describes that society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goes such as the American dream. Though they lack the means to have the American dream, which leads to strain, but might lead to the individuals to commit crimes. On the other hand, Robert Agnew’s General theory describes as seeing crime as a coping mechanism to help people deal with socioemotional problems that are generated by negative social relations. Each member of society has similar goals and aspirations.
Many theories attempt to explain why individuals commit crime and delinquency acts. Sociologists and criminologists alike utilize empirical evidence to support theories that best explain criminal and deviant behavior. Criminology theories introduced decades ago continue to be hypothesized and tested with current and relevant data to disprove, support, and build upon traditional criminology theories. One such theory, Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST), was derived from classic strain theory ideas developed from such criminologists as Merton, Cohen, Cloward, and Ohlin who implied that “blocked opportunities to attain successful goals generate a pressure that leads to criminality” (Froggio, 2007, p. 383). Since being introduced in 1992, GST continues
Strain and Deviance: an empirical test of General Strain Theory of in a Philippine Public University LITERATURE REVIEW Theoretical Background During the past decades, various criminologists developed different theories in an attempt to explain the causes of crime within the society. In return they were successful, as of today it was adopted or accepted, indeed all of theories explain the root causes of crime. One of these theories is anomie or strain theory which originally argues that the lower class frustration to higher class causes crime (Merton, 1938) in attempt to explain why majority of the people who commits crime are lower class.
Agnew’s General Strain Theory in There Are No Children Here Introduction Throughout this semester, we have covered various criminological theories along with their strengths and limitations. These theoretical perspectives provide possible explanations to why individuals commit crimes. In addition to, these theories are indirectly woven within cultural objects such as song lyrics, movies, books, and television.
Merton. The theory states that society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goals (such as the American dream) though they lack the means, this leads to strain which may lead the individuals to commit crimes. Two major concerns in strain theory are the sources of the strain, stress or how people adapt to the strain. Positivism are theories of social and structure are strain theories.
Brezina, T. (2018).” General Strain Theory”. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology Available at: http://criminology.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190264079.001.0001/acrefore-9780190264079-e-249. Timothy Brezina is from Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University. He gained his Ph.D from Emory university.
Empirical background After Robert Agnew introduced the General Strain theory in 1992, he received several support from researchers regarding of his theory including himself. Broidy and Agnew (1997) conducted a study on why the crime rate is higher among males and why also females engage in crime. Broidy and Agnew (1997) hypothesized that males are always subject to different types of strain that would result to serious crime and also males are always subject to financial strain and interpersonal conflict that would lead into violence. Broidy and Agnew (1997) found that females commit crime when they are restricted of conversation, physical and emotional expression, social life and others. Years later, Agnew (2001) examined the characteristics of strainful events and conditions that influence their relationship to crime and he found out that strains are most likely to result in crime when they are seen as “unjust, high in magnitude, associated with low social control, and create some pressure or incentive to engage in criminal coping.”
Introduction Jennifer Ebarhardt who, through her collaboration with different experts in various fields such as law, criminology, novel studies that further law enforcements and judges as well as criminology discover in her studies found out that there is racial bias in today’s policing and sentencing of criminals such that black color is stereotype as group of people who are associated with violence and therefore they mostly received death sentence especially when their victims are whites and therefore they are blacks who are arrested. These behaviors can be best explains using the following theories: General Strain Theory According to this theory, people are involved in crimes because they are not in a position to achieve their goals making them to be frustrated and has the following sources: A person aspiring to become wealth and famous but these aspirations are impossible making them to engage in vandalism or physical attacks which are antisocial forms of behaviors, a person may experience strains due to removal of highly valued stimuli such as migration to new residence will make him/her to get involved in criminal activities in efforts to revenge the loss of highly valued stimuli. Black American youths are unable to meet making them to develop frustration and delinquency.
However, in the book, Criminology the authors have stated, “…Strain theory states that social structures within society may pressure citizens to commit crime” (Adler, G.M., & Laufer W, 2010, p.105). With the increasing stress, the child needs diapers and the parent has no money and enters Walmart, decides to steal a box of diapers, and is caught in the parking lot. The conflict theorist
Deviant behavior is the behavior that is different from the most powerful norms of the society or can also be defined as odd or unacceptable behavior. In sociological way deviance is simply any violation of societal norms. There are many reasons why a person has deviant behavior which includes biological , psychological and sociological explanations. the most popular sociological theories are Structural Strain Theory which was developed by Robert K merton as an addition of the functional point of view on deviance.The theory discovers the origin of deviance that these are caused by the difference cultural and the ways people use to achieve their goals
This research paper draws on existing sociological research and classical social theories to examine juvenile delinquency, and to prove that juvenile delinquency in the schools are linked to social structure, within a sample of the entire form three student population. The two major theories this research paper will highlight is the strain theory coined by Robert Merton and social disorganization theory by Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay reason for using the same is that they are old theories, but often relates to modern criminality and delinquency, and also focuses on social structure and social functioning in society. Both social disorganization theory, and strain theory states that high