Merton 's Strain Theory Essay

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Merton’s Strain Theory Merton’s Strain Theory is widely used throughout the criminal justice system. This theory puts an emphasis on mainly the poor and the lower class people in society. In this theory, people feel strained because they cannot meet the criteria that is considered the “American Dream” which entails being successful in life. Due to this strain, people tend to commit criminal acts in order to gain wealth in life. Programs such as Job Corps can help these lower class citizens to obtain the right tools in order to gain a job and a proper education to obtain the wealth that they desire. Thomas Merton describes his strain theory as a disjunction in a person’s life between their goals and the institutionalized means of achieving their goals. This goals consist of obtaining the most wealth that they can in order to be successful in life and comfortably take care of their family. He mentions the institutionalized means of obtaining that wealth which is education. Merton believes that obtaining a college degree is a necessity in life when it comes to finding a job when a student comes out of college. These people that are committed to moving up the social ladder and gaining more wealth feel strained when they are unable to get a college degree. These people feel this strain because they do not have the funds to send themselves to college and get that degree. With college being so out a reach, a program that can helps these individuals feel less strained is a…

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