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. a. Use Strain Theory to define and explain the following: i. The theft of a loaf of bread by a hungry person Using strain theory, the theft of a loaf of bread by a hungry person can be explained as a situation where an individual employs different means of success of getting fed, one that is against the agreeable ways in the society of getting money and feeding themselves. ii. Alcoholics Using strain theory, an alcohol has ultimately rejected the society’s goals of conforming to the societal values such as happiness and a stable job, such an individual essentially rejects the goals because they have been ultimately been unable to live up to the society’s standards. iii. Gang warfare among teenagers and youth adults As per strain theory teenagers and young adults partake in gang warfare resulting from their inability to reach their personal aspirations and as a result they conform to different ways of achieving such success. iv. Embezzlement of $100,000 by a bank employee Using strain theory, the embezzlement can be explained
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Introduction Juvenile delinquency due to gang relation has increased drastically. Many people fail to realize that gangs have a considerable influence on the decisions juveniles are making. Adolescents are easily influenced by the members of the gangs and manipulated to commit certain crimes. As juveniles they are not mentally and emotionally mature to make such critical decisions, which in turn allow gang members to manipulate and control the youth they recruit. Juveniles become a part of gangs for several reasons, including, gaining protection, governmental, and social issues.
Robert Agnew created general strain theory (GST). According to Agnew general strain theory is a hypothesis to explain why offenders have committed crime due to pressures or strain on them to counteract negative emotions. Agnew defines strains as any sort of situation that causes stress on the individual. This could be death in the family assault, loss of job, injury, financial hardships, or something else. There are two types of strains he focuses on.
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.
His areas of study are Juvenile delinquency, Youth violence and Criminological theory. The main argument of the source is that General strain theory provides and explanation of crime and delinquency and that it is the latest and broadest form of strain theory. General Strain Theory represents a revision and extension of prior strain theories. “General strain theory is distinguished from other criminological theories by the central role it assigns to negative emotions in the etiology of offending. It is also distinguished by the emphasis it places on particular strains, especially strains involving negative social relations “ (Brezina, 2018).
Block and Niederhoffer theorized that joining a gang was part of the male adolescents’ need to grow up into adulthood, so the gang provided the substitute for formalized puberty rights found in other societies (Bartolls & Miller, 2017). Cloward and Ohlin used the notion that lower-class boys interact with and gain support from other alienated individuals and they pursue illegitimate means to achieve the success that they cannot obtain through legitimate means. Cohen believed that gang delinquency represented the subcultural solution to the problems that the lower-class boys have when they are compared to middle-class values and the schools and Miller held that there is a definite lower-class culture and gang behavior is an expression of that culture (Bartollas and Miller pg. 284, 2017). Yablonsky believed that violent delinquent gangs arise out of certain conditions which are usually found in the urban slums and that encourages the development of sociopaths who later become leaders of the gangs.
There are different beliefs within the strain theory, but as stated before, strain theory was developed around the belief that deviant behavior arises as a response to a problem that the individual cannot fix. The original strain theory was started by Robert Merton. He too believed that deviance occurred as a way to solve a problem. He believed this happened when the individual conflicted with societal values. In response to the cause of alcoholism, according to Merton one becomes an alcoholic when they choose to reject society’s goals and approved way of achieving these goals.
Strain theory is people who experience strain likely to feel anomie because of mainstream norms don 't seem to get anywhere. In other words, strain theory is society tends to put pressure on individuals to meet society goals and end up sometimes failing which can lead to crime. Jim and Sara are suffering from anomie because of them being from a lower class they are unable to live the American dream. anomie is a lack of usual social and or ethical standards in an individual group. As the American dream is the idea that every individual should have an equal opportunity to achieve success through hard work and dedication.
Although there are numerous definitions for strain theory it is normally defined when one becomes strained or stress, which often times results to one committing a crime. According to Agnew 1992, often times strain theory is categorized into three separate categories. The categories are as follows, “The inability to achieve one goals, the loss of a stimuli (i.e the death of a friend or loss of possession), or the presentation of negative stimuli (i.e verbal and physical abuse). Andrea depicted step 2 of the strain theory throughout the case and its entirety by demonstrating that she was suffering from depression. Andrea was not only dealing with postpartum depression, following the birth of her fourth child Luke, following Lukes death Andrea experienced an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
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.
This paper draws on existing sociological research in identifying a number of theories used in explaining the formation of gangs. The theories discussed are social structure theories, social conflict theory, and social process theories all of which highlight elements of strain in different forms as they relates to gang formation. According to Merton, (as cited in Schneider & Tilly, 2004) structural theories significantly emphasize the role of social and economic structures as the causes of delinquent behavior and tend to treat criminal behavior as the result of the undesirable and dysfunctional structures (P. 3.).
In 1985 Robert Agnew a sociologist come to an interest of studying the theory and finds a potential for the theory in explaining several causes of crime in society, but due to its limitation he developed and reformulated the theory to widen its dimension or scope. After revising the theory he come up into General strain theory of crime and builds its foundation in 1992. General strain theory argues that frustrations and anger leads someone to deviance and may result into committing a crime (Agnew, 1992). GST defines strains as negative life events and conditions which are commonly disliked by the people who experience it or negative experiences of a person in a given group (Agnew, 1992; 2001; 2006). Strain is often classified in two distinct types, the Objective Strain and the Subjective Strain.
Additionally, crimes that are considered as being white collar, in which they are known in our middle and upper-classes. The General Strain Theory Robert Agnew proposed and formulated the general strain theory. Agnew’s general strain theory primarily focuses on the micro-level definitions of crime and the relationship it has with delinquency. By doing this, Robert Agnew made a notation of the effects that a person 's social environment and the position it plays in the determination of crime.
However, the social structure often fails in providing the means, thereby creating an imbalance in the fulfillment of the cultural goals. This imbalance that stems from the lack of necessary means to achieve socially accepted cultural goals leads to structural strain. The Strain Theory was propounded by Robert
In this view, there are many different moralities, which compete to become law. In several ways, this theory seems to match strain theory better than the consensus theory. As discussed previously, strain theory suggests that when goals become impossible to achieve through accepted means (defined by laws) crime is likely to occur. But why do these means fall short? It could simply be a natural consequence of society, or it could be a result of lawmakers, who are generally rich and powerful, seeking to protect their wealth by limiting the upward mobility of the economically disadvantaged.