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Examine the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance (12 marks)

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Introduction

´╗┐Syeda Begum Examine the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance (12 marks) Opportunity structures can be described as pathway which can lead towards or away from deviant or criminal behavior. for example if someone does not have access to the legitimate opportunity structure of education to achieve goals they may look to other, illegitimate opportunities and which can lead to them committing crime or engaging in deviant behaviour. One theory that supports the role of access to opportunity structures in causing crime and deviance is unequal opportunities which lead the cause of crime. Merton used the strain theory to explain deviance found in society. He belives there the persons position on the social structure effects the way they resond or adapt to the stain to anomie. ...read more.

Middle

There are four forms of deviance, which he calls Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism and Rebellion. innovation mode of innovation adaption may occur because people have not had access to legitimate opportunity structure because of poor education qualifications or unemployment mean that some people can't achieve goals. So they don?t conform as they see they can?t succeed thought the legimatcy as they didn?t have oppertunaties that would have help them to thrive. This why they look for an alternative ?crime. Ritualism, typically occurs when someone gives up on achieving goals, but they stick to the way of society However a non-criminal conformist would take the conformity mode of adaptation where they accept the goals of society. The ideology of the ?american dream? lets people to reach the goal by legitimate mean, this means they should learn self disapline, educated and get qualifications and hard work. ...read more.

Conclusion

Merton argued that working class crime was much higher because they had less opportunities to obtain wealth. Which suggests that Merton proposes that crime is a working class phenomenon. This is said to be too deterministic as not all working class people are criminals and show sins of the mode of adaption innovation. Marxist belive that Merton ignores that the laws have advantages toward that ruling class and criminalize the poor They belive that everyone shares the same goal of money wealth so there is a value consensus. However they don?t take into account people who don?t share these values. The thory only accounts for crime that help people finally (gain money and wealth) such crimes like fraud and theft. The theory does not explain why there are domestic violence or vandalism. The theory explaines how crime may occur because of the stain of anomie, but this ignores the role of group deviance. ...read more.

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