AQA Sociology A2 - Merton Strain Theory

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1. What is Retreatism?

  • Where individuals drop out of society's expectations by abandoning cultural goals and legitimate means.
  • Where individuals replace goals and means with their own ideals to try and reform society.
  • Where individuals carry on using legitimate means, but no longer have any goals to aspire towards.
  • Where individuals attempt to achieve a goal in society, but face too many barriers and retreat back to Ritualism.
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2. What is the main issue with Merton's approach to Strain Adaptations?

  • He failed to account for those of ethnic backgrounds.
  • Individuals might be able to slot into more than 1 adaptation
  • There are some people who don't fit into any adaptation.
  • The difference between Rebellion/Retreatism is practically non-existent.

3. Which Sociological theory is Strain Theory associated with most often?

  • Feminism
  • Symbolic Interactionalism
  • Functionalism
  • Marxism

4. Which of these groups of people would be classed as "Rebellions"?

  • Hippies
  • The Under Class
  • Drug Addicts
  • Dead-End Office Workers

5. Which of these is an example of a cultural goal that causes strain?

  • 9/11 Attacks
  • The American Dream
  • The London Riots
  • Obtaining a phd


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