C - Anomie and Strain Theories Anomie and Strain Theories...

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Unformatted text preview: Anomie and Strain Theories Anomie and Strain Theories Anomie / Strain Anomie / Strain The Means The Goal: Monetary Success $$$ ANOMIE The Division of Labor (Concept of The Division of Labor (Concept of Anomie) – Durkheim (1893) Society is an organism. No societies without crime Crime is normal and fulfills a function in society. If crime is normal, the objective of punishment cannot be to cure it. The Division of Labor (Concept of The Division of Labor (Concept of Anomie) –Durkheim(1893) Division of labor generates social solidarity, but will fail to do so: 1. In times of economic crisis 2. When there is conflict between capital and labor 3. When the division of labor becomes so specialized that instead of uniting it disintegrates. The Division of Labor (Concept of The Division of Labor (Concept of Anomie) – Dream (1893) “If the division of labor does not produce solidarity in all these cases, it is because the relations of the organs are not regulated, because they are in a state of anomie.” The Division of Labor (Concept of The Division of Labor (Concept of Anomie) – Dream (1893) Anomie is a breakdown of social norms; it is a condition where norms no longer control the activities of members in society. Changing conditions and need to adjust leads to dissatisfaction, conflict and deviance. Social Structure and Anomie Social Structure and Anomie (Merton – 1938) Theory is two­fold: – Anomie portion – Strain portion Anomie: – Societies that place a higher emphasis on culturally agreed upon goals, than on legitimate means to achieve them higher crime rates – Emphasis on the goals, not the means (little regulation) Anomie results Social Structure and Anomie Social Structure and Anomie (Merton – 1938) Strain: – In these societies, some individuals are blocked from legitimate means to attain goals; strain and pressure results. – People will respond to the strain differently in one of 5 ways. Types of Types of adaptation Conformity Innovation Ritualism Retreatism Rebellion Culture Goals + + ­ ­ ± Institutionalized Means + ­ + ­ ± Social Structure and Anomie Social Structure and Anomie (Merton – 1938) Level of analysis: Macro. Human Nature: Positive Social order: Consensus. Social Structure and Anomie Social Structure and Anomie (Merton – 1938) Critique? Now what? Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) Main thesis: – Working­class boys feel strain when they have to move in a middle­class world without the necessary conditions to do it. – To adapt they create a new set of values and therefore a subculture. Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) Human acts = effort to solve problems – Motivated to find solutions via accepted means and accepted by larger groups – In the absence of accepted means, we seek out a group that offers other ways to solve problems; we will adjust. Subculture – “The crucial condition for the emergence of new cultural forms is the existence, in effective interaction with one another, of a number of actors with similar problems of adjustment”. Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) The Middle­Class Measuring Rod: – Delinquency is a product of collective consensus among lower­class boys against middle­class values – Delinquency is a means to develop positive self­concepts through antisocial values Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) How do people become a part of a subculture? Middle­Class Society Strain Delinquent Subculture Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) The status problem – To achieve respect in a group, one must live up to the standards of the group and criteria used to evaluate people. – Failure to meet such standards, leads to rejection and lack of status STRAIN Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) – Gravitation to others with same problem; new system of standards develops – Leads to status and respect – As one attains status in the new (delinquent) group, they will status in the out group due to conflicting values. – Not problematic due to rejection of the out group and their values. Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) Level of analysis: Macro, with micro component. Human Nature: Positive Social order: Conflict Delinquent Boys – The Culture of Delinquent Boys – The Culture of the Gang (Cohen) Critique? Policy Implications? Delinquency and Opportunity – Delinquency and Opportunity – Cloward & Ohlin (1960) Main Thesis: The disparity between what lower­class youth are led to want and what is actually available to them is the source of a major problem of adjustment. Social order is unjust, the system is wrong; therefore, deviant behavior is morally acceptable in order to achieve the goals that the system is unjustly denying. Delinquency and Opportunity – Delinquency and Opportunity – Cloward & Ohlin (1960) Middle­Class Society Criminal Violent/Conflict Retreatist Double­Failures Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity Cloward and Ohlin disagree with Merton’s assumption that lower­class persons, who are denied access to legitimate opportunities, automatically have access to illegitimate opportunities. They propose that deviant adaptations to social rejection are explained by location in both the legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures. The access to illegitimate opportunities is as unequal and blocked as the access to legitimate ones. Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity The Criminal subculture: A criminal subculture (gangs organized primarily to commit income producing offenses) develops if the following requisites are present in the environment: integration of offenders at various age levels (transmission of values and skills from one generation to the next), a social structure that supports the actual performance of a deviant role, relationships with other categories of people whom can contribute to the success of the delinquent activity. Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity The Conflict subculture: Toughness is the key of success. Lower­class urban neighborhoods which lack unity and cohesiveness are perfect environments to produce powerful pressures for violent behavior among the youth of these areas. Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity The Retreatist subculture: Focused on the consumption of drugs and alcohol. “Double failure”. Search for ecstatic experiences. Rejection of violence or force. Begs, borrows, steals, or engages in some petty con­game. Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity Level of analysis: Macro/Micro Human Nature: Positive Social order: Consensus. Delinquency and Opportunity Delinquency and Opportunity Critique? Policy Implications? Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) Main Thesis: American society the economy is considered the most important institution over polity, family, and education. This leads to crime. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) The American Dream: commitment to the goal of material success, to be pursued by everyone, under conditions of open individual competition. These same components underlying the dream promote anomie: – It’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win or lose. Make it on your own (individualism). No one is exempt from evaluation based on individual success (universalism). – Success is the accumulation of monetary rewards. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream Social institutions are the building blocks of society. This includes economy, polity, family, and education. Devaluation of non­economic institutional functions and roles: – Ph.D. who pursues career in academia = loser who won’t make any money; surgeon = rich/successful – Family: homemaker is not a job and can be considered a success – Polity: emphasis on tax­cuts over social policies/programs. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) Economic requirements demand accommodation of other institutions: – Father cannot attend son’s ballgame because must work overtime. Family demands must conform to the labor market. – Educational institutions must accommodate to demands of the job market. – Polity depends on financial support. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream Penetration of economic norms into other domains – Schools rely on grading system of extrinsic rewards (similar to salary) Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) Direct effect on crime: creation of an anomic normative order Indirect: institutional balance of power that inhibits the development of strong mechanisms of external social control. The American Dream does not contain counterbalances to substitute more effective illegitimate means for less effective legitimate means. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) Level of analysis: Macro Human Nature: Positive Social order: Consensus. Crime and the American Dream Crime and the American Dream (Rosenfeld and Messner) Critique? Policy Implications? General Strain Theory ­ Agnew General Strain Theory ­ Agnew General Strain Theory ­ Agnew General Strain Theory ­ Agnew Main thesis: Every time you fail to achieve a goal you will get frustrated and more likely to engage in illegal behavior to achieve that goal. But strain is not only caused by failing to achieve a positively valued goal; it is also the result of failing to escape legally from painful or negatively valued situations. General Strain Theory General Strain Theory Conceptual Components: Three major types of strain: 1. Failure to achieve positively valued goals 2. Removal of positively valued stimuli 3. Presentation of negative stimuli General Strain Theory General Strain Theory Failure to achieve positively valued goals: Aspirations vs. expectations/actual achievements: focuses in disagreement between aspirations, expectations and actual achievements. Expectations vs. actual achievements: Failure to achieve those expectations is more emotionally distressing than failing to achieve aspirations. Deviance is a possible way to close the gap between expectations and actual achievements. General Strain Theory General Strain Theory Just/fair outcomes vs. actual outcomes: Individuals will compare the outcomes they obtained to the outcomes obtained by others. If the outcomes obtained by the individual are not similar to those obtained by others the outcome will be seen as unfair or unjust = Anger + frustration = Strain – Delinquency will occur to: increase the outcomes (e.g. theft). lower the inputs (e.g. truancy) lower the outcomes of others (e.g. vandalism, theft, assault) increase the inputs of others (e.g. being incorrigible or disorderly) General Strain Theory General Strain Theory 2. Removal of positively valued stimuli from the individual: The stress caused by this loss may lead to delinquency as the individual tries to: – Prevent the loss; – Retrieve the loss or obtain a substitute; – Seek revenge against those responsible for the loss; or – Manage the negative affect caused by the loss by taking illicit drugs. General Strain Theory General Strain Theory 3. Presentation of negative stimuli: May lead to delinquency as the adolescent tries to: Escape from or avoid the negative stimuli Terminate or alleviate the negative stimuli Seek revenge against the source of the negative stimuli – Manage the negative affect by taking illicit drugs. – – – General Strain Theory General Strain Theory The three types of strain presented generate anger. Delinquency may be a method for alleviating strain, and each type of strain may create a predisposition for delinquency. Crime will most likely result from strain if: 1. The strain is viewed as unjust, high in magnitude, recent, and of long duration; 2. the individual lacks legitimate coping skills, is low in social support and social control, blames his strain on others and is disposed to crime 3. The strain creates some pressure or incentive to engage in criminal coping. General Strain Theory General Strain Theory Level of analysis: Micro Human Nature: Positive Social order: Conflict General Strain Theory General Strain Theory Critique? Policy Implications? ...
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