Main assumptions of Strain Theory and its contributions to understanding crime

1848 WordsJun 3, 20158 Pages
Main assumptions of Strain Theory and its contributions to understanding crime In general, a group of theories, called Strain Theory, contends that most people in society share the same goals of achieving wealth and success. But in every society there is division between lower class and their wealthier counterparts. Those people from lower class don’t have the same opportunities that those from upper class do. As a result, lower class gets frustrated because they are not able to achieve upper class’s goals. That feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining their goals, or in other words – strain, leads to crime. Following essay looked at society’s role in Crime regarding different variations of Strain Theory:…show more content…
The second element of cultural structure defined, regulated and controlled the accepted ways of the path to these goals. Social institutions must complement in order to expanding opportunity and fostering healthy peer group activity as a result of crime prevention. The method results in internalization of the goals that the body interacted with the public (Merton, 1938). His main interest was focused in cultural determine in crime. Merton adapted five different ways to the structure of opportunities available: Conformity (accepting goals and attaining them), Innovation (accepting the goals but no lack in attaining them lead as a result to resort to innovative means to attained the goals, such as turning to crime), Ritualism (accepting the goals while being aware of not attaining them), Retreatism (rejecting both) and Rebellion (creating own goals and achieving them). Merton’s choices available to people reflects problems stemming from the structure to the society itself (White &Haines, 2008). General strain theory is usually tested by examining the effect of strain on crime. GST argued that strains or stressors increased the likelihood of negative emotions like anger and frustration. These emotions created pressure for corrective action, and crime was only possible response (Agnew, 1992). Crime may be a method for reducing strain, seeking revenge, or alleviating

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