Social structure theorist believes that the solutions to why criminals commit crime is the neighborhoods they grew up in (Criminology and Justice). All the theories that fall under the social structure theory helps theorist determine why individuals join gangs as well. Significant studies by theorist was researched that the subcultural values affect a person decision (Criminology and Justice). Theorist believe that once a person is bought up in such a deviant environment they feel they have no other way
To expand my research to attain the goal of understanding specification of both explanations, The southern subculture of violence theory blames higher crime rates in the South on “cultural values that evolved from that region’s unique history” (Ousey, 2000:268). All cultural explanations are based on the social learning approach, which holds that criminality is learned through intimate interactions with others. Another example is that capital punishment is highest in the South. The economic deprivation explanation to differences of crime rates within regions of the country is synonymous with 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).
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.”
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
Social process theory has several subdivisions including: social control theory, social learning theory and social reaction (labeling) theory (will only focus on social control theory). Social control theory insinuates every person has the possibility of becoming a criminal, but most people are influenced by their bonds to society. It contends that individuals obey the law and are less likely to commit crime if they have: learned self-control, attachment (to family, friends, peers, education, etc.), commitment (to school, learning, etc.), involvement (in leisure activities, sports, etc.), and belief (those that are positive). According to social control theory, an individual is more likely to be criminal/deviant if they are detached and alienated (from friends, education, family, etc.),
Social process theory depends on the interaction between individuals and society as an explanation and is also known as interactionist perspective. This theory assumes that everyone has the potential to violate the law and that criminality is not an innate human characteristic but is instead a belief that criminal behavior is learned by interaction with others (Schmalleger, 2012). Social process feels the socialization process that occurs because of group membership is the main way through which learning occurs (Schmalleger, 2012). Social process theory views criminality as people’s interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society (Siegel, 2000). This theory feels that people from all areas have the potential
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.
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.
The set of the structural-functional theories are among the most widespread perspectives on the juvenile delinquency. The group of the theories regards that the behavior of the underage delinquent is caused by the breakdown of the social process that consequently results in the increase of conformity (Thompson & Bynum, 2016). The group of theories presumably blame institutions that are responsible for the socialization of the young delinquents for the way the socialize the individuals by causing them to conform to the values of the society. One of the central theories of the juvenile delinquency is the anomie theory that is rooted in the early studies by the sociologist Emile Durkheim.
When someone discusses the social disorganization theory it is currently focus on the relationship between people crimes social control and deviant’s behaviors caused by the environment for example if u live in an area where most crimes were to happen like domestic abuse drug trafficking or gang violence then the people around or more likely to commit crimes than ones who live in good neighborhoods. Today in our community crime effects schools work even our own homes. According to Na’im H. Madyun the author of Connecting Social Disorganization Theory to African-American Outcomes article stated that “due to high poverty single parent households it is very difficult to create social ties to the community because they believe that society does not want to help the neighborhood who have very high crime rates”(Madyum) What he means by this statement is that when someone in a neighborhood even the school is effected by crime then most kids will end up being a delinquent at an early age for example they’ll start joining gangs by recruiting them through media or on the street and getting involve in crimes while they are in middle school or high school due to parents who go to work to work every day or might be addicted to drugs and abuse their kids in their own houses.
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). Strain theory is founded on the idea that the goals of a society and the accepted means of achieving said goal causes strain that can
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