Why do individuals engage in crime or deviance? Explain while comparing and contrasting Mertons structural strain theory with Agnew general strain theory
Reference details Agnew, R. (1992) FOUNDATION FOR A GENERAL STRAIN THEORY OF CRIME AND DELINQUENCY*,' Criminology, 30(1), pp. 4788.
Annotation Agnews journal article Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency*(1992), deciphers the connection between deviance and the strain theory. Delinquency refers to a function of the strife between goals entities have, and opportunities accorded to acquire or obtain these goals legally. Robert Agnews general strain theory highlights the fact that strain at the individual level may be resultant from the inadequacies and disappointments in achieving set and valued goals. This may also be a consequence from adverse relations/stimuli. The strain theory puts focus on delinquency due to pressures from negative elements that include; anger depression, jealousy and other undesirable emotions caused by negative relationships (Agnew, 1992). The article focuses on how strain theory is significant in elaborating crime in addition to deviance. Agnew uses various forms of literature to back-up his arguments his arguments in addition to data collected from previous research.
Previous literature on strain theory has been limited to the categorization of strains. They have little consideration of the magnitude and the variations of strain. Therefore, the strain theories have been attacked by other researchers and have continually suggested the total abandonment of the research study. The paper is vital for the essay question as regards as to why an entity would engage in a crime or deviant behavior. The article also highlights literature on Merton who can be denoted to be the primary or integral individual within the research objective of the research.
Reference details Rosenfeld, R. (1989). Robert Merton's Contributions to the Sociology of Deviance. Sociological Inquiry, 59(4), pp.453-466.
Annotation Rosenfeld (1989) hypothesized, Strain theory preserves the interconnection between culture and social structure which is neglected or defined away by cultural and control theories of deviance (Rosenfeld 1989). The statement shows the relationship between strain theory and deviance such that it calls for the analysis of the significance of strain theory and the reason for the downfall. Rosenfeld talks about Mertons contribution to the sociology of deviance such that more focus is put on the strain theory. Rosenfeld (1989) asserted, strain theory holds that deviant behavior results, in part, from conformity to conventional standards of success (Rosenfeld 1989). In saying this, the paper shows the importance of the strain theory and the relevance of the theory in our various communities. The article illusrtates that Merton was not of the ideas illustrated in the strain perspective such that he viewed it to be as a simple method of explaining deviance and crime Rosenfeld 1989).
Rosenfeld highlights that there are limitations in the theory in which it fails to depict why some people are more prone to a life crime than others. Other studies have viciously challenged the connection of strain and the maturation of deviant behavior. In fact, Rosenfield denotes that as result of vicious talks and a consensus, Mertons strain theory was insinuated not to have explained the reasons for crime and deviance. The other theories such as the cultural and control theories of deviance do not preserve the interconnection between culture and socially different from the strain theories.
Reference details BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Sullivan, M., 2001. Building on the foundation of general strain theory: Specifying the types of strain most likely to lead to crime and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 38(4), pp. 319-463.
Annotation Sullivan in The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency is quick to highlight the theory regarding general constraint as analyzed through the evaluation of the impact of the strain employed on crime CITATION Sul01 \l 1033 (Sullivan, 2001) Nonetheless, there exist a myriad of strains, and thus, it remains obscure and a difficult endeavor to express why some of the strains do not depict a relationship or connection with deviance or crime. The article mentions the strains attributed to a relationship to crime as those that are viewed as unjust, seen as having a high magnitude, linked with little control and create some motivation to indulge in criminal coping. Therefore, as per the ideas by Agnews general constraint theory and Mertons strain theory, it becomes clear or implicit that not all strains or stressor lead to involvement in crimes CITATION Sul01 \l 1033 (Sullivan, 2001).
From the article, it has been denoted that empirical researchers have neglected some of the strains as causes of deviance. In this light, the article is important in defining the diverse strains attributed to deviance or criminality as progressed by the general strain theory.
Reference details Featherstone, R. & Deflem, M., 2003. Anomie and Strain: Context and consequences of Merton's two theories. Socialogical inquiry, 73(4), pp. 471-89.
Annotation Featherstone and Deflem in Anomie and Strain: Context and Consequences of Mertons two theories highlight the murkiness in the two theories propagated by Robert Merton- social structure and Anomie program CITATION Ano03 \l 1033 (Featherstone & Deflem, 2003). It highlights that emphasis on the strain theory has clouded the anomie theory and limited the effectiveness and power of the latter. Structural strain can be connoted to a single way in explaining why criminality matures in the context of anomie.
The explanation can be likened to the general strain theory and thus, from this perspective, the strain theory by Merton does not exactly build on general strain theory fully. Nonetheless, the article denotes that researchers should not be quick to criticize and abandon the theory but integrate the theory which is compatible with other theories that explore the source of crime and delinquency CITATION Ano03 \l 1033 (Featherstone & Deflem, 2003). The article credits the significance of the proposition by Merton provided that there exists an incoherence in the American society when it comes to cultural goals and illegitimate means way out. It continues to denote that this might serve or prove integral in the maturation of a sociological framework for properly comprehending crime and deviance.
The article is important to the research topic as it highlights the importance of the theories forwarded by Robert Merton. The Merton strain theory has its limitations as regards focusing more on the social structure (similar to the GST) rather than broadening the scope of on the substantive influences in the anomie theory where structure appears as one way of explaining the phenomenon.
Reference details Yilmaz, I., 2015. General Strain Theory of Delinquency: the Developmental Process of Robert Agnews Works from a Historical Perspective. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 6(11), pp. 168-179.
Annotation Yilmaz in General Strain Theory of Delinquency: the Developmental Process of Robert Agnews Works from a Historical Perspective endeavors to extend the works of Merton, Cohen and Cloward and Ohlin CITATION Yil15 \l 1033 (Yilmaz, 2015). The individual shed new light into criminology by additionally evaluating psychosocial literature and in addition to constituents of research on stress. Merton and the general strain theory were restricted to the discrepancies of cultural norms and crime and delinquency transcending only purely from the structure CITATION Yil15 \l 1033 (Yilmaz, 2015). In Agnews later theories on causes of the strain he established that strain might be located outside the structural and cultural aspect of the society.
In this regard, he refuted the insinuation that strain is brought about by the lack of monetary or material success and culturally approved goal attainments. In Agnews perception, strain can be derived from the removal of positive stimuli or the addition of a negative one. Therefore, the article highlights the complex nature of establishing the triggers of deviant behavior or actions. From the article, it can be gathered that crime and delinquency cannot be accrued only to one specific factor rather a multiplicity of factors.
The importance of the article as regard the research question is that it sheds light on Agnews viewpoint which as mentioned is a further explanation of the Mertons strain theory. It depicts the similarities between the two theories and their limitations in completely depicting or explaining why individuals participate in criminal activity. It addresses other additional issues such as psychosocial problems which can also be attributed to crime and delinquency. From the article, it is implicit that the Mertons and general strain theory explain why individuals participate in criminal activities. Nonetheless, the two theories are limited to specific factors as mentioned in trying to decipher the cause of deviance in individuals.
BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Agnew, R., 1992. Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency. Criminology, 30(1), pp. 47-88.
Featherstone, R. & Deflem, M., 2003. Anomie and Strain: Context and consequences of Merton's two theories. The sociological inquiry, 73(4), pp. 471-89.
Sullivan, M., 2001. Building on the foundation of general strain theory: Specifying the types of strain most likely to lead to crime and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 38(4), pp. 319-463.
Rosenfeld, R. (1989). Robert Merton's Contributions to the Sociology of Deviance. Sociological Inquiry, 59(4), pp.453-466.
Yilmaz, I., 2015. General Strain Theory of Delinquency: the Developmental Process of Robert Agnews Works from a Historical Perspective. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 6(11), pp. 168-179.
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