• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate Merton’s theory of Anomie.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate Merton's theory of Anomie 1) Anomie is a state of normlessness first coined by Robert K Merton, an American functionalist sociologist borrowed Durkheim s concept of Anomie to form his own theory called Strain Theory Merton argued that the real problem is not created by a sudden social change as Durkheim proposed, but rather by a social structure that holds out the sane goals to all its members without giving them equal means of achieving them. It is the lack of combining between what the culture calls for and what the structure permits that causes deviant behaviour. Merton uses Durkheims notion of Anomie to describe the breakdown of the normative system. 2) Merton argues that the American dream, which suggests that success is achievable through hard work and discipline has a significant effect on whether or not some groups commit crime. ...read more.

Middle

Retreatists are those who have abandoned both the goals and the means of achieving them. This is where the individual withdraws from society for example into a world of drugs, alcohol abuse or some other deviant behaviour. Rebels (last) are those who reject societies goals and the accepted means of achieving them and replace them with their own for example joining a rebel group of some kind. Merton argues deviance arises in response to status frustration when the approves ways of achieving success don't correspond with an individuals situation. In turn this results in anomie. ************************************************************************* 4) Many sociologists believe that the disadvantaged groups such as the underprivileged and lower working class have a little chance of achieving societies goals by acceptable means as they have been at a disadvantage in education and end up in a low paid employment. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Cohen's view, individuals join together for crimes such as joy riding and vandalism which do not result in a monetary reward. However he does agree that Merton's theory could help explain adult professional crime and some professional thieves. ************************************************************************* 6 - Conclusion In contrast many Marxists perceive crime as a natural outgrowth of capitalists society. They argue that by its very nature, the capitalist economic system generates crime. Sociologists such as William Chambliss, Mankoff, Pearce and Snider see the power as largely being held by those who own and control the means of production. This they maintain is reflected in the superstructure of society that mirrors the relationship between the ruling and the subject class. As part of the superstructure, Marxists believe that the state (the agencies of social control) reflect and serve ruling class interests, maintain its power and coerce and control the subject class. ************************************************************************* ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Sociological Theory and Methodology - Crime and Deviance.

    The most likely victim of crime in conflict to the media reporting is a young Afro Caribbean male. Although media reporting would lead us to believe that they are the greatest offenders, statistics show that they are more likely to be the victim.

  2. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    Whether SA Theorists like it or not, such inequalities exist + are external to the individual + shape their actions. A Marxist response to Weber might read, * "If situations are real, they are real in their consequences. However they might be differently interpreted by individuals".

  1. Is Delinquency a major factor in youth culture, what theory best explains delinquency?

    Matza also believes that young people hold two distinct and separate values at different time in their life. The first one is the 'normal' and dominant values of society, and the second is the 'subterranean values', which are the ones that lead on to delinquency.

  2. Critically Examine the Subcultural Approach to Crime and Deviance.

    In effect, it has to provide people with the opportunity for advancement ("promotion") as an alternative to the legitimate job market, for example. 2. Conflict Sub-cultures: Where this form of stable, working class, community / criminal sub-culture doesn't exist, Cloward and Ohlin suggest that a second form of sub-cultural response is possible.

  1. Critically evaluate Marx's analysis of socialclass.

    Firstly, in the terms of class, Weber considered there are four class groupings in capitalist society: > the propertied upper class > the propertyless white-collar workers > the petty bourgeoisie > the manual working class7 Weber distinct there is more than one dimension to determine social class stratification, economic sphere

  2. Critically evaluate Functionalist approaches to crime and deviance - Illustrate your answer with reference ...

    Every society, as it moves from feudal to industrial has an increase of crime rate, apart from china. This happens because the system lacks integrations, therefore crime rates rises. Some people experience anomie, allowing individuals to get into things which society frowns upon, or results in egoism, (becoming selfish and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work