Evaluation of Merton

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How does Merton somewhat accurately depict crime and deviance?
He shows how both normal and deviant behaviour can arise from the same mainstream goals
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What are the source of the patterns in crime and deviance that he explains ?
Official statistics
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How can this be criticised?
Officials statistics are inaccurate
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For example, as official statistics over-exaggerate working class crime....
...Merton sees crime as a largely working class phenomenon
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Why is his theory considered too deterministic?
Although the working class experience the most strain, not all working class people chose to deviate (they are not passengers to their social structure, there should be choice)
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What do Marxists argue is wrong with Merton's theory?
Merton ignores the power of the ruling class to make/enforce the laws in ways that criminalise the poor and not the rich.
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In this context, how does Merton's theory assume value consensus?
Merton argues that all people in society strives for money society and ignores that possibility that not everyone shares this goal.
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Merton's theory only accounts for Utilitarian crime. How can this be considered a weakness?
It doesn't explain non-utilitarian crimes such as violence/vandalism/genocide/torture
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Merton's theory only depicts individuals strain to anomie. Why can this be considered a weakness?
Merton ignores the role of group deviance (such as deliquent subcultures)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What are the source of the patterns in crime and deviance that he explains ?

Back

Official statistics

Card 3

Front

How can this be criticised?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

For example, as official statistics over-exaggerate working class crime....

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why is his theory considered too deterministic?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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