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Strain Theory.docx

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SOC 2700
Scott Brandon

Strain Theory 1. Anomie Strain Theory Institutional goals vs legitimate means 2. Emile Durkheim  Social forces has impact on people  Problem of normlessness significant where there is anomie: without norms, components looking at absence of norms or too much norms and  Anomie due to social change Increased rates of suicide and sometimes crime  Anomie tied to social organization: tied to situations of high prosperity and material goals People pursue unattainable goals, with rapid social change and increased prosperity have these issues today’s credit card society: getting things you want now opposed to buying something yet  Modernity creates desires and goals  Crime is a function of society 3. Robert K Merton: Strain and Anomie Theory  Extending anomie theory  Crime due to: inability to achieve goals Merton’s focused: the disjunction between goals and means largely cultural in nature something within society that tell us that we need these goals but ability to satisfied these goals are lofty  the “American Dream” by product of our society so focused on materialism forget morality and engage in different types of crime people who are committing crime are majority from moral classes; lack of opportunity and when see this they have strain and frustration can conform and use legitimate means  Merton differs from Durkheim: aspirations and strains are in the social structure live in a society that promotes the idea of materialism which perpetuate crime  Merton sees two components of anomie: cultural goals and institutional means cultural goals (aspirations and goals that define success instructional means to attain these things Merton’s five models of adaptations  Conformity acceptance of goals and means  Innovation white collar criminal/street criminals (rule violators) breaking law to get what they want take place in society with increase values of economic success low SES  Ritualism  Retreatism alternative to conformity. recognizing institutional goals but reject goals to get them homeless, hippies, drifters rejection of goals and means  Rebellion replace them with new goals and new means reject traditional means of success replacing and altering social structure in their own mind terrorism Modes of Cultural goals Institutional adaptation means Conformity + + Innovation + - Ritualism - + Retreatisn - - Rebellion +- +- 5. Reactions to Merton: Albert Cohen  Study of delinquency  “status frustration” results when lower class boys discover they cannot get institutionalised success (school, sports) through traditional activity and form delinquent subculture reaction to idea of materialism reaction people engage in, results of frustration of key ideas of society  Replacement of values occur subculture acquire status by conforming to subcultural rules of right and wrong rejecting mainstream society values and replace them theft, b/e 6. Another reaction to Merton Ri
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