Strain Theories

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  • Strain Theories
    • Merton
      • People commit crimes when they are unable to achieve social goals by legitimate means
      • Structural factors- unequal opportunity structure
      • Cultural factors- less emphasis of legitimate ways to achieve
      • The American Dream
        • Example of society have strong sense of goals but not enough legitimate means for everyone to achieve them
      • 5 types of adaption to strain
        • 1 Conformity
        • 2 Innovation
        • 3 Ritualism
        • 4 Retreatism
        • 5 Rebellion
    • Cohen
      • Status Frustration
      • Deviance in W/C boys
        • Anomie in M/C dominated school system
      • W/C boys unable to achieve in status hierachry
      • Boys suffer status frustration, reject M/C goals
      • Turn to delinquent subculture
      • Subculture offers alternative status hierarchy
    • Cloward and Ohlin
      • Not everyone turns to innovation
      • Subcultures react in different ways
      • Unequal access to illegitimate opportunity strcutres
      • Different areas have access to different crime levels
      • Criminal subcultures- provide youths with jobs leading to a criminal career
      • Conflict subcultures- loosely organised gangs
      • Retreatist subcultures- double failures, illegal drug use


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