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The Strain Theory of Understanding Juvenile Delinquency Essay

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Across the nation, social scientists and criminologists have researched and hypothesized the main contributing factors that promote juvenile delinquency. The Strain/ Anomie theory introduced by Robert Merton and later revised by several other theorists, attempts to explain why juvenile subculture tend to behave certain ways when confronted with pressures from everyday life. Revised by other theorists, the Strain theory attempts to provide the framework of juvenile delinquency and its sources in order to analyze the effectiveness of this assumption, as well as to implement certain crime prevention policies and programs to curb this problem. This paper is going to analyze how the Strain theory contributes it’s principles of delinquency…show more content…
The social structure of a society refers to the dispersal of opportunities for attaining success goals through socially adequate means. In the United States, these opportunities are not evenly distributed.
As a response to these pressures, individuals are socialized into alternative modes of adjustments in which the individuals strained are looped into culturally acceptable patterns or adaptations in which they conform into. The first adjustment is conformity, in which the individual affected would accept conditions around them and continue to pursue their goals in a model behavior. This is because it is necessary for individuals to adhere to a normal standard of behavior as an example to others so that the stability of the society would be maintained. The next mode of adjustment conceptualized by Merton is innovation, in which is most commonly used by delinquents, in being that the individual continues to desire and attain successful goals, but would take full advantage of illegitimate resources. Also, these individuals, depending on their personal situations, may not be sufficiently socialized into the acceptable norms because these individuals value the determinants of success, but would resort to criminality if the opportunity were available for a quick come up. According to Akers & Sellers, the location of many of the lower class individuals produce a breeding ground for criminality because these conditions create more of an economic anomie
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