Robert Agnew's Structural Strain Theory

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Introduction The research conducted is attempting to look for a correlation between violent crime and what causes people to commit crime. Some variables that are believed to lead to crime are educational attainment, employment, gender, and race. Through my data analysis and literature review I have found that there is a correlation between these variables and violent crimes.
Hypothesis
Those who have suffered from structural blockage and strain are more likely to commit crime under Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory.
Theory
Robert Merton describes structural strain theory by stating that structural blockages occur in society and these blockages lead to deviance. Merton’s theory originates from the ideas of anomie, which he uses
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Conformity refers to people who have accepted the cultural norms and goals and the ways that society sees appropriate to achieve those goals. Because some people have lack of access to the appropriate ways to reach these goals, they may then turn to deviance. This is innovation. Ritualists, on the other hand, know that they cannot reach the societal goals; instead they focus on the means by which they live and keeping them. Retreatists are those who give up on societal goals and means; they then choose to live a life that is not seen as legitimate or worthwhile. The last model of adaptation is rebellion. A rebel not only rejects the societal goals and means, but also goes against them. Robert Agnew developed his ideas of General Strain Theory based on Merton’s previous views of strain. Agnew’s differs from Merton’s theory in it looks more at the reasons that strain comes about. Strain such as irritation and frustration lead adolescents to criminal behavior. Agnew argues that strain comes from more than just goal blockage. He believes that there are three major types of strain: individual failure to achieve positive goals, the removal of positive stimuli, and the existence of negative stimuli. Along with that, he does not believe that crime is the only way that people respond to …show more content…
By looking at other research, I believe that these variables not only support my hypothesis, but also general strain theory.
The data set RECIDIVISM OF FELONS ON PROBATION, 1986-1989 will help me to support my hypothesis. The data was collected from those who were convicted 1986. The independent variables that I’m using are Sex, or v9, Education Level at Time of Intake, v13, Race, v113, and Percent of Time Employed 12 Months Prior to PSI, v10.
I am using v9 because I believe that sex plays a large role in the way that people react to strain, as explained by Broidy and Agnew. Education level is relevant, because those who have lower rates of education are more likely to suffer from strain. Race is important in testing strain theory because those of races other than white are more likely to suffer from structural blockage and, therefore, have more strain. Employment is another variable that is important when it comes to strain, because those who are unemployed or work very little are more likely to suffer from strain from lack of

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