CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: General Strain Theory, Richard Cloward, Lloyd Ohlin

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19 Oct 2017
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Thursday, October 19, 2017
CRIM 2650
Lecture #7!
Overview: Anomie and Strain Theories!
Introduction!
Historical Background of Strain Theories!
Merton, Anomie and Social Structure!
Strain and Delinquency (Subcultural Theory)!
Albert Cohen: Delinquent Boys!
Cloward and Ohlin: Delinquency and Opportunity!
Policy Implications of Classical Strain Theories !
Contemporary Research in Strain Theory !
Agnew’s General Strain Theory!
Strain Theory and African American Offending!
Institutional Anomie Theory!
Policy Suggestions of Institutional Anomie Theory!
Introduction: Main Theorists!
Robert K. Merton (1910-2003)!
Social Structure and Anomie (1938)!
Albert K. Cohen (1918-2014)!
Delinquent Boys (1955)!
Richard Cloward (1926-2001) and Lloyd Ohlin (1918-2008)!
Delinquency and Opportunity (1960)!
Robert Agnew (1953-)!
Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency (1992)!
Steven Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (1948-)!
Crime and the American Dream (1994)!
Introduction: Main Themes!
Individuals are more likely to engage in crime when they cannot achieve culturally
prescribed goals through legitimate (or institutionalized) means. !
Strain on individuals. !
1. Illegitimate ways !
2. Demonstrate anti-social behaviour and develop an alternative value system !
3. Resort to drug usage.!
Strain Theories: Historical Background!
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Thursday, October 19, 2017
The Great Depression (1929) and The New Deal (1933-1938)!
American Dream!
Functionalist School of Sociology!
The Renewal of Interest in Strain Theory!
The Golden Age of Welfare State (1945-1975)!
Progressive Social Movements in 1960s!
The Great Depression and the New Deal!
The Great Depression (1929)!
Steinbeck’s The#Grapes of Wrath (1939)!
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)!
The New Deal America (1933-1938) !
American Dream!
Common Individual!
Hard Work!
Pecuniary Success!
The Culture of Consumption !
‘Conspicuous consumption’ (Veblen 1899).!
Production to consumption based economy.!
The Recession in 1937!
The contrast between the American Dream and deep inequalities!
Merton: crime as an adaptation to economic and cultural conditions.!
Merton, Anomie and Social Structure!
Merton’s Biography !
There is a disjuncture between culturally prescribed goals and institutionalized
means for attaining these goals !
Culturally prescribed goals: the American Dream!
Institutionalized means: hard-work, strong work ethic, education, rational
thinking and planning. !
The contradiction between culture and social structure is anomie. !
Strain on individuals!
Durkheim vs. Merton on Anomie!
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