Why People Commit The Crimes

2635 Words Dec 8th, 2014 11 Pages
Introduction There are many different theories out there of why people commit the crimes they do. In fact there are several theories that are apart of the different aspects of those theories. For hundreds of years people have been trying to figure out what causes people to engage in deviant behavior. It has been a field that has changed the way it has looked at why criminals commit the crimes that they do. The theory that I am going to be covering in this paper is that of the Strain Theory made famous by Robert Merton. This theory explains that people will do whatever means are necessary to pursue the American Dream, and to move up in this society. There are several of these Strain theories so I will be going in depth particularly about the Classic/Anomie Strain Theory. The Strain Theory was developed by Robert Merton a Sociologist in 1938 (Richard Featherstone, 2003). It was first called the theory of anomie and deviance, then it was changed in recent years to what we know as strain theory (Richard Rosenfeld, 1989). He believed that the Theory of Anomie was that we put an emphasis on cultural goals and the means to achieve them, and that the strain of this theory is that the deviance we see in society is caused by the social norms within a society (Daniel S. Murphy and Mathew B. Robinson, 2008). This was that the ideas of our society to obtain wealth, may actually cause this deviant behavior in individuals. As an individual we will obtain the means to…

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