Why A Person Would Commit Crimes

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Throughout history people have tried to explain why a person would commit crimes. Some consider a life of crime better than a regular job—at least until they are caught. (© Bettmann/Corbis)

The mainstream of American society have always struggled to achieve the American Dream. The dream usually consists of graduating from college, earning a well-paid salary from a respected employer, a family, a nice car, and owning a home. We strive to have the perfect smile, the perfect body, the best clothes, and throw the perfect parties. We want to become Pro-athletes, rappers, rockers, Hollywood’s most famous, a CEO or President. We are a society that wants it all, and now, and sometimes by any means. Sociologist Robert Merton wrote that “deviance is, in a sense, a normal behavior in a functioning society.” http://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology/chapter/chapter7-deviance-crime-and-social-control/). He believes that every individual in society is encouraged to achieve financial success and the availability to success determines whether or not a person conforms or deviates to such societal norms. Merton introduced the Strain Theory. He believes that the inconsistency between what a person can achieve and their ability to attain this financial goal causes strain. Merton defines five ways people address the inconsistencies. Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, and Rebellion. The impact and relevance of the Strain Theory in 2015 can be observed everywhere in

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