Theory and its contributions to understanding crime essay

That feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining their goals, or in other words – strain, leads to crime. Following essay looked at society role in Crime regarding different variations of Strain Theory: Anomie Theory, General Strain Theory, Institutional Anomie Theory and few Subculture Theories and tried to find an answer for questions on possibility to have a society free of crime or does the immigrations have an impact on crime itself. Strain Theory observed on how to become criminal and looked at how criminal behavior is learned in social situations.

Not only questions concerned within functionalism and positivism relation like usefulness of crime was important to Strain theorists but also they tried to kept criminal impulses in check. The context in which Strain Theory emerged and developed can be divided into different types of Strain Theory: Anomie Theory, SST, Institutional Anomie Theory and Subculture Theories over three mains periods of time She first period was a result of rise of sociology as an science and academic discipline which occurred from the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth.

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Majority of sociologist presumed that there existed a consensus of values and norms across a whole society. The major role of the social scientist was to intervene in shaping the direction of social voltmeter by providing positive solutions to identified social problems. One of the methods adopted to achieve that was construction of categorization of various types of societies and to find how the whole structure of society shapes individual behavior. Deviant behavior was seen as an outcome of wrong structures and values in society and was perceived as somewhat social pathology.

From early sass through to the Second World War was second key period in the development of Strain Theory. When Russian Revolution occurred in 191 7, it has great influence on further developments in the West. Under the rule of Stalin, majority of citizens were displaced from their former positions and as a result, series of class struggles and armed conflict was seen as successful workers’ revolution. Not only Russia was place of increasing the propensity towards crisis and war in Europe.

Germans suffered from impoverishment and loss of dignity as a result of failure in the First World War, in Spain in sass and later in Italy, arise of fascist movement occurred and the Great Depression had a massive impact on workers and farmers in whole Europe (White , 2008). All of hose movements on the top of newly created Soviet Union lead to mass waves of immigration to USA Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Last period was the post-war period between sass and 1 sass. Majority of advanced capitalist countries showed economic growth. Citizens were optimistic about future and living standards were rising.

The only problem occurred when it came to explaining persistent crime rates even in the face of generally good both conditions: economic and social. To solve that problem, was to look closer at distribution of opportunities in society and ways in which people interact and learn from each other. The Strain Theory formed intellectual task to create a concept which would explain the social nature of crime. Anomie is another word for strain and it refers to division between what a person aspires to do and what he could actually achieved. When Robert Morton developed the Anomie Theory, he focused on two elements of social structure.

He saw social structure as culturally defined plans that occurred as sanctioned goals that applied to all which integrated and organized in a hierarchy of values. The second element of cultural structure defined, regulated and controlled the accepted ways of the path to these goals. Social institutions must complement in order to expanding opportunity and fostering healthy peer group activity as a result of crime prevention. The method results in initialization of the goals that the body interacted with the public (Morton, 1938). His main interest was focused in cultural determine in crime.

Morton adapted five different ways to the structure of opportunities available: Conformity (accepting goals and attaining them), Innovation (accepting the goals but no lack in attaining them lead as a result to resort to innovative means to attained the goals, such as turning to crime), Ritualism accepting the goals while being aware of not attaining them), Retreating (rejecting both) and Rebellion (creating own goals and achieving them). Marten’s choices available to people reflects problems stemming from the structure to the society itself (White &Haines, 2008).

General strain theory is usually tested by examining the effect of strain on crime. SST argued that strains or stresses increased the likelihood of negative emotions like anger and frustration. These emotions created pressure for corrective action, and crime was only possible response (Agene, 1992). Crime may be a method for educing strain, seeking revenge, or alleviating negative emotions. SST builds on previous strain theories in several ways: most notably, by pointing to several new categories of strain, including the loss of positive stimuli, the presentation of negative and new categories of goal blockage.

Majority of the specific strains falling under these categories are related to crime and delinquency (Agene, 2001; Pique and Schlock, 2000). Institutional Anomie Theory focused on institutions as a relevant role in keeping people from getting obsessed on material success and as a result, there institutions help reduce strain (frustration). Such institution as family or church, tempered the desire for money and material wealth in general (Responded, Richard, &Messner, 2006). The American Dream, hard work, high education and delayed gratification are major means for achieving goals for society in general.

F-ail in achieving a goals leads to strain in poorer areas. The Subculture Theorists assumed that encourage values different from mainstream society would adapt in lower-class neighborhoods. They promoted other values like instant gratification, violence, toughness or excitement. Cone’s (1955) Lower-Class Reaction Theory was focused on out in school. He proposed three solutions for Failed Youth: College Boy, Corner Boy and Delinquent in accordance to classify the school. Pupils from lower classes failed to live up to teacher’s expectations who have represented middle class standards.

Kids rejected their values and created their own value systems and leaded to maintain their self-esteem. Frustrated poor kids may try to achieve status elsewhere by engaging in violence, drinking alcohol and using drugs or forming and joining gangs. Another subculture theory called Differential Opportunity Theory rejected emphasis on schools and borrow room early Chicago School theorists stress neighborhood. Delinquents in stable, lower class neighborhoods developed values regarding their chances of attaining criminal success.

Delinquents in disorganized neighborhoods adapted values and maintain their self-images not only through criminal activity but through winning street battles and conflicts with others (Collard & Olin, 1960). Although Strain Theory explained in deep link between crime and delinquency, there are some limitations of this theory. Except Sutherland work (1983) on white-collar crime, majority of people accepted the fact that rime in working-class was the most part which needed explanation and fight down (Morton, 1938).

Some variations of Strain Theory oversimplified the connection between lack of opportunity and crime (Weatherboard &Lind, 2001). Even the general social consensus denied the pluralism of values in society (Cohen, 1955). Strain Theory perspective tried to provide a sociological answer for the causes of crime. Developed from Deuterium’s (1979) sociological concepts, Strain theorist presumed ideas of enemies and social solidarity which could not be reduced to an individualistic frame. Within arioso types of Strain Theory’ which shared similarities, pointed and different mains of focus on contributions to understanding crime.

Morton (1938) focused on frustration between goals and means to achieve them and pointed at reason of crime as lack of opportunity to attain goals in the absence of legitimate avenues. Later theorist looked at the way criminal relationships supply the techniques and motivations leaded to act as a criminal. Subcultures approaches (Collard& Olin, 1960; Cohen, 1 955) looked how lower-class young people dealt with lack of opportunity to attain their Laos by forming subcultures such as gangs.

Nowadays, in the current economic climate, a huge movement of people migrating around the world, different economic situations in countries lead to lack of opportunity, alienation and eventually – to criminal behavior. Studying youth gangs and youth groups became a particular and interesting to nowadays criminologists. Young people are at high unemployment and the differences between upper class and working-class seems to be even bigger (especially in huge urban areas such as London or NYC). Looking at Strain theorist assumptions, the bevel of crime committed by youth and the amount of gangs will increase.