Essay On Merton's Strain Theory

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The biological and psychological theories believe physical and mental disorders can determine criminal behavior on an individual level. Under the biological theory of criminality, it is believed that one’s brain function, genetics, and biochemical makeup contribute to criminality. The psychological theory offers insights into the mental health of the psychoanalytic nature. However, the sociological theory of crime focuses more on crime rates and the groups involved due to social decay instead of individuality. While each has their place in nature versus nature, the biological, psychological and sociological theory have an interesting view on an individual and group level in explaining criminal behavior. Bio criminologists seek to discover …show more content…
According to Alder, Laufer, & Mueller (2013), the Merton’s Strain theory relates to the idea that the lower-class wishes to be part of the middle-class culture and when they are suppressed from achieving their goals, they may seek to achieve these goals through illegitimate means (Alder, Laufer, & Mueller, 2013, p. 121) While I agree with the Merton’s strain theory on some levels, I think Merton focused too much attention on criminal behavior in association with the lower-class. In fact, researchers have been unable to clarify that one’s class is directly related to criminal behavior, and one cannot say that everyone who is part of the lower-class or experiences strain in their lives becomes a …show more content…
For example, minimal brain dysfunction on a biological level contributes to hyperactivity disorders ranging from patterns of aggression, low self-esteem, outbursts, and explain criminal behavior when social theories are unable to find an association with the social environment of the subject (Alder, Laufer, & Mueller, 2013, p. 91). I say this because a negative event in one’s life may be affected on a psychological level in how well they deal with the circumstance surround the event. Also, the emotional response to an event can be a result of a subjective strain. Several studies have also shown a strong relationship between crime and moral development when a child is subjected to an unstable home environment. For example, delinquency in juveniles has been attributed to the strain of parental fighting, life hassles, and negative relationships with adults (Agnew, n.d., p. 324). Studies in adults suggested marital issues, unemployment, and the failure to achieve economic goals contributed to criminal behavior (Agnew, n.d., p. 325). I think the general strain theory establishes a connection to criminal behavior when individuals lack the resources and the emotional and social support to cope with internal and external strains.
References
Agnew, R. (n.d.) Building on the

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