The Nature And Structure Of Criminal Behavior

1707 Words Aug 4th, 2015 7 Pages
For many years, sociologists and psychologists have tried to explain the origins of deviant behavior in the society. However, in order to understand the nature and structure of criminal behavior, there is need to understand a myriad of factors, such as societal functions, beliefs, norms, values, as well as sanctions. All these are part of a system in the society, and they play a significant role in influencing the behavior of individuals. For this reason, scholars have come up with social theories, which aim to explain why some individuals indulge themselves in deviant acts. Robert Merton and Peter Blau are among some of the sociologists who have dedicated their time and effort to developing comprehensive and informed perspectives towards crime in the society. This paper seeks to address the viewpoints of Merton and Blau, comparing and contrasting how Robert Merton and Peter Blau explain why people commit crimes and identifying the rationale behind their evaluations and assertions regarding criminal behavior in society. Assertively, both theorists present that a conflict between individual and collective responsibilities or obligations is the main source of criminal behavior in the society.
Robert Merton Merton’s theoretical orientation centers on the fact that the society is divided into two distinctive levels: the individual and collective spheres. In his theory of deviance, he specifically focuses on the influence and interaction between the two levels mentioned…
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