The Link Between Poverty and Crime

1654 Words Apr 20th, 2013 7 Pages
“Many people living in poverty do not want to be living in poverty. In order to obtain a higher level of socioeconomic status, crime is seen as the only option.” (Wilson, 1987).
Crime exists everywhere in the world – in rural and urban areas in many countries, in the East and West, and among all types of people. This has led many government officials, especially those in urban areas, to focus largely on the reduction of crime among their respective constituencies and has led others to speculate on the factors that influence the amount of crime and how those factors can be controlled. Crime has been around since man and there is no doubt that it will continue to be around, until there is an existence of a perfect world. But for now, we
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It is very hard for people living under poverty to come out of is usually because of the lack of necessary education or qualifications that are required by most well paying companies and the only jobs they will get are those that do not pay well nor provide benefits. There are a number of theories that explain this. I will take a look at two of them, The Functional (Strain) Theory, and the Interractionism (Labeling) Theory. Robert K. Merton developed the structural strain theory as an extension of the functionalist perspective on deviance. This theory traces the origins of deviance to the tensions that are caused by the gap between cultural goals and the means people have available to achieve those goals. Societies are characterized by both culture and social structure. Culture establishes goals for people in society while social structure provides (or fails to provide) the means for people to achieve those goals. According to Merton, in a well-integrated society, people use accepted and appropriate means to achieve the goals that society establishes. In this case, the goals and the means of the society are in balance. It is when the goals and means are not in balance with each other that deviance is likely to occur. This imbalance between cultural goals and structurally available means can actually lead
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