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
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.
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.”
Criticism of Merton’s Strain Theory One critique of the strain theory is how it overemphasis the position of the social class in regards to crime and deviance. As we know, the strain theory applies mainly to the American lower class as they struggle the most. Our lower class are faced with the lack of resources to help them reconcile their goals. However, by looking at the variation of deviant and criminal behavior, the strain theory does not adequately account for any type of crimes besides the normal street or neighborhood crimes.
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.
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).
Criminal and conflict gang whose primarily intent of crimes for tangible gains. Social structure theorists consider that the main components to illegal behavior are the ascendancy of social and economic influences that are distinguished in rundown communities where the population is predominantly lower-class citizens (Siegel, 2010). This following theory goes into helping us comprehend ways the human behavior, is the result of physical
General strain theory was developed by Robert Agnew. There are three major categories in the types of General strain theory: Failure to achieve positively valued goals, the loss of positively valued stimuli, and the presentation of negative stimuli. A positively valued goal has three sorts and those are money/economic success, status and respect. Lack of money causes strain because it is not obtainable through legitimate means. Strain will result from the lack of autonomy disproportionately affecting adolescents and the poor because of their lower position in society. Those three types of strains will increase the likelihood of experiencing negative emotions in proportion to the duration of stress. The links between strain and crime is that
In the movie Scarface we view go in depth about some life events of Cuban refugee Tony Montana when he enters the United States and receives his green card. We also see what leads him to his criminal activities of becoming a national drug lord. In this film there are a number of different theories that can be applied. I will be using Cornish and Clarkes Rational Choice Theory, along with Robert Agnew’s Strain theory in order to analyze Tony’s reasoning behind committing these crimes. I will be using examples from the film Scarface in order to draw and link these theories with the film.
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
Throughout the 17th-century gangs have been causing havoc in people's life and destroying the society. The National Institute of Justice (2011) has defined a gang as "A group of collective members which create an atmosphere of intimidation among citizens. " Many of these gangs are well organized, using different forms of violence to control neighbourhoods and to conduct their illegal activities. The National Gang Threat Assessment (2011) reports that “Gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions.” Street Gangs have caused incidences of violence that is confined in the inner city of many countries.
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.
But there can also be a forced alliance as many can be compelled to join or work for a gang under threat so they don’t have a choice and have to follow orders for the sake of their own lives. Much of whether gangs are seen as a social problem comes from perspective. Society is more prone to seeing gangs in a negative point of view because the social reality is not reaching the ideals and standards of people’s conception of a perfect world. Many external factors such as the media and personal opinions encourage a bad outlook on gangs. The media inflicts fear and depicts gangs to be a threat, which the community looks at in a negative view.