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.
Introduction: Lincoln Burrows is a fictional character from the TV series “Prison Break” (Scheuring, 2005) who is portrayed as a death-row inmate who is wrongfully convicted of murdering the brother of the Vice President of the United States. Throughout the series, Lincoln exhibits several deviant behaviours that can be explained through various sociological theories of deviance. This paper will discuss which theory best fits Lincoln’s entrance into crime/deviance and the affect it has had on him in prison. Research: Throughout the series, Lincoln portrays many deviant behaviours but the one that I believe explains his behaviours the most is labelling theory.
One of these people were Robert Agnew who thought that strain theory could be very important in explaining crime and deviance that happens but that it needed to be in a different context so that it was not tied to social class or cultural variables, but have it focus more on norms according to society. “In sum, we would expect certain strains to affect crime in all or most societies, while the effect of other strains may differ across societies. A general strain theory that explains differences in criminal offending will systematically list all of those strains that function as “extreme stressors,” as well as those societal factors that affect the magnitude of given strains, the interpretation of such strains (e.g., their perceived magnitude and injustice), and the likelihood of criminal coping”(Sigfusdottir & Kristjansson , 2012).The general strain theory have 3 categories of strains according to Agnew which are the inability to achieve positively valued goals ,the removal or the threat to remove positively valued stimuli and to present a threat to one with noxious or negatively valued stimuli. The inability to achieve positively valued goals are difference between the expectation influenced by factors such as social class
Conor Hill Professor Kenneth Cruz CCJ 250 Criminology 10 October 2015 Paper #1 “A Vicious Cycle” is a short clip from a television show that was uploaded onto YouTube on January 8, 2014. The segment watched is the first of three that begins by profiling many families in the city of St. Louis who lost loved ones to homicide. The video connects to the audience pathos by proving that by losing a family member, the “wounds are deep” and “they may never heal”. These wounds of course are those on the families and on the community around them. These violent crimes that take place are destroying the lives of many people in the community.
Every day we are bombarded with ideas of how the human body should look- men need to be muscular and women should be fit and toned. In fact, these norms are taught at a very early age, and through various social institutions. It is especially evident in Disney movies, just take a look a Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, or Ariel in the Little Mermaid, children are constantly being subjected to these masculine and feminine ideals and it will continue throughout their life. Magazines will place photo-shopped models on their front covers, while radio stations promote testosterone boosters for men. Although these ideal body types are impossible to achieve, society still has the expectation that we should strive to be as physically attractive as possible
Strain or anomie theory “refers to the lack of social regulation in which the unrestricted appetites of the individual conscience are no longer held in check (“anything goes”); that is, a state of normalness where appropriate norms are not in place to inhibit deviant behaviour” (White & Perrone, 2010, p.73). “Merton argued that crime can be understood in relation to
I agree the strain theory is a big factor in this story. The physical and emotional abuse Stanley suffered under, I feel was deffinatley enough to explain Stanley's delinquency. Social learning theory is also a big factor since Stanley learned from his older step-brother but also other indviduals he met in the streets or was incarcerated with.
Furthermore, as society labels people who have committed a deviant act as ‘criminal’, Schur (1965) suggests that deviant acts such as drug use or any as Schur (1965) labels them as ‘victimless crimes’, should not be dealt with the full force of the law because it can be expensive and counter- productive (Muncie, 2010). On the contrary, Cohen (1973b) questioned who is responsible for labelling an act as deviant then later identified that political movement gain power over social actions and created criminal laws. Muncie (2010) sees crime as a political and ideological construction and that from social construction, laws, policies and social morals are the bases in which society is
One sociological explanation of crime is that those who engage in crime were raised and shown crime in early ages of their life. The three sources of Robert Agnew's Strain Theory would be: The inability to achieve positively valued goals The removal of the threat to remove positively valued stimuli
He claims that status frustration is a factor to the increase in criminal behaviour. The working-class males want to achieve the same success that is valued by society but lack of education and opportunity stops this from happening. Although unlike Strain theory, Cohen claims the working-class males turn to the values and norms of a delinquent subculture such as a gang, as they can achieve success easier. The subcultures place high value on petty criminal acts such as vandalism and theft as these acts help the individuals to gain respect. Since the crimes reward behaviour with more respect than financial gain, it explains why people commit non-utilitarian crimes.
Strain theories expand on this idea by describing the types of negative treatment likely to result in crime, why negative treatment increases the possibility of crime, and why some people are more likely than others to react to negative treatment with crime. The strain likely to lead to crime are perceived as unjust, and associated with low social control. They create some pressure or incentive for crime. In Patrick Sherrill’s case, the incentive for crime comes from his rejection by supervisors, harsh discipline he receives, and the chronic unemployment or under-employment of his past.
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.
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.
As far as crime is concerned, it is defined by the law. Deviance is unexpected behaviour, but not exactly considered criminal. Many consider crime as a social problem – a problem as defined by society, such as homelessness, drug abuse, etc. Others would say crime is a sociological problem – something defined as a problem by sociologists and should be dealt with accordingly by sociologists. This essay attempts to discover the boundaries between these two and ultimately come to an appropriate conclusion.