Robert K. Merton's Social Strain Theory

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Social strain theory was developed by famed American sociologist Robert K. Merton. The theory states that social structures may pressure citizens to commit crimes. Strain may be structural, which refers to the processes at the societal level that filter down and affect how the individual perceives his or her needs. Strain may also be individual, which refers to the frictions and pains experienced by an individual as he or she looks for ways to satisfy individual needs. These types of strain can insinuate social structures within society that then pressure citizens to become criminals.
I see this happening every day in Saint Lucia, where the younger generation has placed value on tangible things such as clothes, shoes, expensive phones and
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Here in my community is one of the places in Saint Lucia that is known for drug trafficking. Most parents accept it and their children do sell drugs because parents would say, “What else will he do?” “How will they eat if they don’t sell drugs?” Most don’t even care about going to prison because that is how they feel they make a living. Parent could not send kids to school and when this person grows up he is too embarrassed to look for a job. Most don’t want anyone to know they can’t read properly and did not finish primary level education. A life of drugs is like a society, most are school drop outs so they can relate to each other. They feel like they belong to a group where everyone is like them. Retreatists are individuals who reject both the cultural goals and the accepted means of attaining those goals. They simply avoid both the goals and means established by society without replacing those norms with their own counter-cultural forces. If parents told their kids the way out of poverty is education and it basically is free up to the secondary level they could have a better life. Then when I look around my community I see families with five kids who are not working, and don’t have the necessary requirements to get a job so they feel the easiest way out is a life of crimes. Maybe parents have to instil better values in their children. Like my mother would always tell us when we were young, “Always do with what you have, never get jealous of what you see others have, you never know how they got

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