The Origin Of Criminal Behavior And / Or Deviant Behavior

989 Words4 Pages
There are numerous theories on how to explain the origin of criminal behavior and/or deviant behavior, one of those theories is called Strain Theory. Robert Merton was the sociologist that developed strain theory in 1949 (revised in 1968). Robert Merton based his theory on the fact that all people want to achieve the American dream of economic status. He believed that environmental factors caused a strain on a person’s ability to achieve the American dream of economic success and depending on what the environmental factors are, people reacted differently to this strain (Kapelos-Peters). This theory describes the different types of ways people achieve this goal in relation to social adaptation. Merton’s theory has five modes of adaptation which are: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. Robert Merton was among the few sociologists that believed that individual causes such as environmental and biological defects could have potentially contributed to the deviant behavior in society. The sociologist Robert Merton developed the theory called Strain Theory based on social adaptations. He believed that environmental and biological factors contributed to the social deviance. In his theory he explains how deviance may not be a free will, like most sociologist before him thought to be. His inspiration to cultivate the strain theory came from the theory on anomie that was established by Emile Durkheim ( (Kapelos-Peters). Anomie refers to a condition or malaise
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