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Merton's Strain Theory

Miles and Tom

Ade Cross

on 13 February 2014

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Transcript of Merton's Strain Theory

Miles and Tom Strain Theory Robert Merton Best known for 'unintended consequences', 'reference group' and 'role strain'.

Coined the term 'role model'. What is Strain Theory? The definition of the word 'strain' can be used to help understand what 'strain theory' is.

There is both structural and individual strain.

If society puts enough pressure on the individual, to achieve socially accepted goals, individuals may commit crimes.

In America, the largest cultural goal is the accumulation of wealth. The 5 Modes of Adaptation Conformity-Follow the rules of society
Innovation-Accept goals of society but reject conventional methods
Retreatism-Reject both cultural goals and acceptbale means of achieving them
Ritualsim-Don't believe in accepted goals but abide by them
Rebellion-Similar to retreatists, but substitute their own goals
Merton says the most likely group to engage in crime are the innovators. Bibliography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_theory_(sociology) http://socialscience.stow.ac.uk/criminology/criminology_notes/strain_theory.htm Other Related Scholars http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/agnew.htm Social roles played a large part in Merton's theory of social groups.

Heavily based on the work of Emile Durkheim. Other Related Theorists Robert Dubin-believed that deviance was a function of society in itself
Talks about how some may interpret illegitimate means to be legitimate

Robert Agnew-believes that the strain theory should be revised Criticism Doesn't take into account white collar crime

Crime that is malicious isn't explained
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