Social Structure and anomie (Robert Merton)

HideShow resource information
  • Merton argued that deviance resulted from the culture and structure of society itself.
  • Values consensus may not be applied as members of society are placed in different positions in the social structure, they do not have the same opportunity of realising the shared values which gives way to deviance.
  • "The social  and cultural structure generates pressure for socially deviant behaviour upon people variously located in that structure."
  • Cultural goals and institutionalised means:
  • The American dream( Own a cadillac, big house or man and a substantial bank balance).
  • Less importance is shown on how to achieve the 'American Dream' in  accepted ways.
  • " Players" will try to achieve success by any mean available to them= rules cease to operate= anomie results.
  • Norms no longer play any importance which consequently entails Deviance.
  • The 5 Responses to cultural goals:
  • 1. Conformity: Conform to success goals and to normative means of achievement.
  • 2. Innovation (Deviant): Merton argues that lower levels of society will tend to select this route as they have little access to…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Crime and deviance resources »