The Strain Theory Of Crime

1662 Words 7 Pages
Introduction:
The history of crime is as old as the history of human beings. Yet it is not possible to follow a single universal approach to encompass the whole idea of crime and the root cause behind it. Different causes lead to different kinds of criminal behaviors. Some people commit crime because they have no other means to satisfy their basic needs of life while others do it just because they are deviant genetically or socially. Whichever is the case, crime is a harmful act not only for an individual but for the state, society or a community. In order to maintain peace and justice in society, the state owns the power to deal with offender in ways defined by law of that specific state. But, history of crime shows that making more and more
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The people, who are not able to communicate with society normally because of some mental illness, develop hatred for that society that leads to insanely violent criminal actions. Tom Phan analysis of reasons behind crimes shows that crime is somehow the response of social pressures and inequalities. The great philosopher Agnew has presented the same idea in 1985 in the form of general strain theory.

GENERAL STRAIN THEORY:
According to Agnew and the social strain theory, negative emotions develop as a result of social strains and may lead to a number of consequences that include delinquency as well. Strains are basically the pressures that people face while striving to survive in a society. For example
1. Failure to achieve the goals much valued in society (earning money and improving status)
2. Loss of some dear possession like death of some dear one, broken relationships or theft of some valuable.
3. Physically or mentally abused
Agnew tried to mention the conditions under which social strains can lead individuals to crime. According to his theory, strains that are 1) seen as unjust, 2) high in magnitude, 3) associated with low social control and 4) create some incentive to engage in criminal coping are most likely to lead to violence and delinquency. (Seepersad,
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The most positively valued goal in modern world is money. When a person fails to earn enough money to fulfill his desires by legal means then he/she considers using illegal means and get involved in criminal activities. As mentioned by Tom Phan, this craving for more and more financial stability is the main cause behind crimes like embezzlement, identity theft, credit card frauds, property crimes, theft and burglary. It’s just not the lack of money that forces people to commit crimes, the never-satisfied nature of humans also plays the key role in defining their deviant behaviors. As power and status are the symbols of respect in society so people who are powerless try to gain power and people who are powerful use criminal means to gain more powers to maintain their

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