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Criminology Lecture Notes

Cultures often become malintegrated malintegrated

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Cultures often become malintegrated ( malintegrated culture ) . One which overemphasizes the means or overemphasizes the goals – technical efficiency above anything else . American culture is malintegrated in that it puts a disproportionate emphasis on goals – overemphasizes success goals and these goals largely involves money . Believed that this malintegrated culture of American society is represented in what he called the American Dream – American dream is our vision for success . American dream pushes people to always continually want more – people are never satisfied with what they have . Different from Durkheim in that he believed that this dissatisfaction is due to human nature . Merton says that the culture drives people to desire more . Social structure was primarily made up of social classes . Everyone, regardless of the social class they may be in is given the same goals and is told to pursue those goals by the same means . Everyone is given the same goals, despite the fact that not everyone is given the same amount of resources to pursue those goals . Observed that people adapt to all this pressure to succeed and attain high goals in society . Modes of adaptation to all this success pressure put on us . In terms of cultural goals they are pursuing or the institutionalized means (look at chart) . Plus means acceptance of either goals or means . Minus means rejection of either goals or means . Innovation – innovator rejects the means by which the culture prescribes and finds another way to attain success (drug dealers are innovators)
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. Often see merton criticized for not accounting for crimes of the upper class – idea that merton’s theory is a deprivation theory – because poor people have no money or means, they commit crime . Merton’s theory was primarily a cultural theory – wealthy people have lots of money to do whatever they would like – de-emphasis on success, and more emphasis on making more money . If legitimate means are not emphasized, people will reject them – being honest is not properly emphasized; therefore, even wealthy can reject the means and become innovators . Problem of the lower classes: . Culture de-emphasizes means . Means of the lower classes are worthless . Because they have both of the above, there is more crime in the lower classes – primarily a cultural problem – not all about poverty . Modes of adaptation . Innovation: look above . Ritualism . Follow the institutionalized means given to them by society . Primarily found in the lower middle class . Ritualist says that he doesn’t want to go to the top – willing to stay with what he has . People who are ritualists are deviants – reject the pursuit of success which is the norm in society . Don’t aim high and then you wont be disappointed . Retreatism . Reject cultural goals of society and reject means of obtaining those goals . Social drop-outs – live as homeless people . Relieved all the pressure on them to succeed – ex. Drug addicts . Retreatism is not a crime, but vagrancy is criminalized – don’t want bums hanging around on the streets . These bums contradict the American Dreams, so they are usually arrested . Psychosis is also a form of retreatism .
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