c-42 - 4 High level of maladaptive behavior due to cultural...

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4/20/09 STRAIN THEORIES Robert Merton - Socially generated pressures or forces drive people to commit crimes. Not equally distributed in society Why is it that the frequency of deviant behavior varies within different  social structures? Answer lies in class structure and pressures it places on  lower-classes. *Theory developed in 1940’s – widely accepted in 1960’s as a “great society program”.  “Anomy”  = normlessness/disconnected from society 1. Social structure limits abilities of certain groups to satisfy culturally dictated  goals and aspirations. - Cultural goals deemed acceptable: a. Wealth b. Power c. Status d. Material goods - Culture also inspires maximum accumulation. 2. Social structure specifies acceptable means - “Institutional means” – bases on values of culture 3. Conflict or strain between goals and means produce “anomy”
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Unformatted text preview: 4. High level of maladaptive behavior due to cultural imbalance between goals and means *Crime is an illegitimate means to a legitimate end*- Between forces driving people to crime and restraining forces- Social structure explains differences in upper and lower class crime rates.- Distribution of legitimate opportunities to achieve wealth through legitimate means 5. Since goals aren’t always achieved, means becomes valuable in themselves.- Oftentimes, means are placed under severe stress. *To overcome sense of anomy, different modes of adaptation are used. Modes of Adaptation: Behavior Goals Means 1. Conformity + + 2. Innovation +-3. Ritualism-+ 4. Retreatism--5. Rebellion + +...
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c-42 - 4 High level of maladaptive behavior due to cultural...

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