Sociology of Drugs 3.8 - Sociology of Drugs 3.8.2016 Causes...

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Sociology of Drugs 3.8.2016 Causes of Drug Use Merton—Strain (Anomie) Theory - Merton assumes that everyone wants to achieve the success goals (cultural goals) o There are two sets of means to achieve these goals - Legitimate means o Education - Illegitimate means o Crime Success goals: o Power o Wealth o Prestige Theory: - Conformity o Accept the socially defined goals Achieving wealth, power, prestige makes them feel a sense of self-worth o Conformists accept legal (culturally approved) means to achieve these goals Education - Innovation o Like conformists, innovators accept socially defined goals of wealth, power, prestige o However, many LC people lack access to legal (culturally approved) means to achieve wealth Can’t afford college education o Hence, LC (lower class) people more likely to reject legal (culturally approved) means to achieve socially defined goals o Instead they use crime as a way to achieve socially approved goal of wealth Crimes like burglary, robbery, theft, prostitution etc o Except innovation to be higher in lower class as opposed to middle and upper class - Retreatism o Retreatists start out lack conformistsed Want to achieve power, wealth, prestige by legal means
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o However, LC who lack access to legal means cannot achieve cultural goals by legal means o Unlike innovators, some LC people are morally opposed to using immoral, illegal means like crime to achieve cultural goals o Hence, retreatists reject both legal and illegal means to achieve goals They also reject the goals since they can’t achieve them o They, then, retreat or withdraw from society by escaping into drug addiction, alcoholism o Expect retreatism to be high in the LC community than in MC/UC Cloward & Ohlin criticized Merton’s notion of retreatism -
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