Implications Of Deviance Theory In Merton's Anomie Theory

1983 Words 8 Pages
The ideas contained in Merton’s anomie theory have played a substantial role in shaping the discipline and stimulating further developments, yet, there remains considerable ambiguity about the precise causal configuration implied in his theory. Merton proposed two distinct arguments: one that emphasized aggregate-level features that help to explain variation in deviance rates across social societies, and one that emphasized social psychological processes through which individuals who are blocked from pursuing culturally internalized goals become motivated, perhaps out of frustration, to engage in crime (Baumer, 2007). Merton’s theory is best described in contemporary language as one multi-level theory of how macro-level social and cultural …show more content…
The strain theorists argue that, in the US, everyone is encouraged to pursue the goals of monetary success or middle-class status” (p. 384). Agnew presented a theory that suggested, “Negative relationships or strain and to argue that adolescents and young people are pressurized into delinquency by a negative affect, especially anger” (p. 388). Therefore when experiencing negative emotions or negative relationships, people will engage in crime as a sort of relief and or revenge. Negative emotions can include anger, frustrations, depression, fear, jealousy and neglect. Froggio (2007) explained that there are three major categories to Agnew’s Strain Theory: (1) prevent or threaten individuals from achieving their positively valued goals. (2) Remove or threaten-to remove the positive stimuli that adolescents possesses. (3) Present or threaten to present individuals with noxious or negatively valued stimuli. The first experiences of these strain are experienced through family members (p. 388). Agnew (2012) explained the strain deal with painful or aversive events and conditions, however, does not focus on the blockage of pain-avoidant behavior but simply on the experience of painful events. These sources suggest that painful events and conditions generate negative emotions and sometimes prompt criminal coping, even when legal escape is possible. This includes criminal coping is more likely when individuals lack the skills and resource to cope in a legal manner (p. 35). General Strain theory has been even used to explain patterns of offending over the life course of some individuals. Some individuals offend primarily during their adolescent years and others offend at a high levels over much of their life time (p.

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