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Discover The Major Causes Of Crime: Strain Theory (Term Paper Sample)


Topic: what explanation does strain theory offer for the cause of delinquency? How does an emphasis on equity differ from an emphasis on outcomes in the analysis of strain? (#13 on attech file #1)
Just follow the guideline. But there are few things should be careful:
1. Must use textbook: Classics of Criminology (4th or 3th edition) by Joseph E. Jacoby, Theresa Aa. Severance, Alan S. Bruce
3. My topic is strain theory on Chapter 28, you can get most information from this chapter.
2. Other references can be articles, or internet sources(No more than 2). And need at least 4 references (no inclued text book.) So inclued the text book will be 5 references.


Strain Theory
Student's Name
Institutional Affiliation
Strain Theory
Throughout history, people have been striving to discover the major causes of crime. Since the evolution of philosophy, there have been various theories that have tried to explain why people begin to engage in criminal activities. The emergence of sociology as a science came with a new perspective where crime became a scientific study and new complex theories have been designed to explain the cause of the behavior. Some of the newly developed theories have categorized social-economic status to be a potential causation factor for criminal activities. Several crime theories exist, but the strain theory stands out to be the most commonly used in conjunction with the socio-economic element. However, several strain theories exist, but the important one is Robert K. Merton's original strain theory. Delinquency is a growing problem not only in the U.S.A but across the world because families are faced with hard socio-economic challenges due to an increase in the standards of living. The socio-economic problems that individuals are facing in the society have made deviance to be the only means of achieving success. This paper will attempt to explain the causes of delinquency according to the strain theory as coined by Robert K. Merton and Agnew.
The strain theory has its foundations in the Emil Durkheim's anomie theory which holds that as societies continue to shift from law free to enforced law, the strain is likely to appear due to inadequate society regulation (Merton, 1938). Therefore, the structural strain is as a result of inadequacies in social regulation, which influences how individuals perceive their needs from different perspectives. The individual strain is as a result of an individual's efforts to find ways in which he/she can accomplish her needs. The bottom line, Durkheim's theory set a foundation for Robert K. Merton's strain theory. However, Merton dismissed some of the claims that were made by Durkheim that strain is as a result of inadequacies in societal structure, but theorized the stability of current societies. Merton's focus was on the role of institutions in the achievement of cultural goals. According to Merton, society's most important objective is wealth achievement and to achieve it, several institutionalized means and rules were created. As Merton explains, a problem tends to occur when the created institutionalized means and rules get overshadowed by the desire of achieving the goal. Therefore, crime occurs when the interest of people is to achieve the goal than respecting the set societal rules and regulations. Merton faults the society by asserting that it has put more emphasis on wealth than on the rules and means through which this goal can be achieved. Merton believes that the lower class is the most social class that is impacted by the inability to utilize the set rules and regulations to achieve the goals. Since its development, the theory has been used by various theorists and scholars to explain delinquency about the low socio-economic class as well as the minority groups.
Merton included five types of strain in his theory. They include conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and rebellion. Conformity is a result of individuals trying to use the institutionalized means and rules to achieve the goals. Merton asserts that the modern societies are stable because most people are conformists and that is what maintains the stability. Innovation is as a result of individuals striving to achieve the ultimate goal by ignoring the institutionalized means and rules. Ritualism is as a result of individuals not striving to advance or achieve the goals by keeping whatever they have by respecting the set rules and regulations. Retreatism is as a result of indi...

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