Merton's Strain Theory Of Deviance And Labelling Theory

747 Words3 Pages
The comparison and contrast between Merton’s strain theory of deviance and Labelling theory. In this essay, the comparison between and contrast between strain theory and labelling theory. The essay will start with the key features of each theory and then it will go into the main comparison of the two theories. It will go into to detail on the similarities and differences between the two theories. Strain theory is the theory developed in 1938 by Robert K Merton. It’s the theory that society puts pressure on people to achieve socially accepted goals. Labelling theory is the theory that the public act in the way that society has labelled them, which gives negative connotations towards that person. Both the theories, judge crime on the type of people and how they have been deemed, both theories try to explain crime from social perspectives. ‘Labelling theory is the view of deviance according to which being labelled as a “deviant” leads a person to engage in deviant behaviour.’ This states that if a person were to labelled as a thief, that person would be treated different (looked down upon). This could leave this person to do what they are labelled as and commit theft. This is backed up with’s definition of labelling theory, which states ‘people become criminals when labelled as such and when they accept the label as personal identity’. This moves into strain theory as the strain theory cultural theory as in Merton’s strain theory argues that ‘the American cultural
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