Strain Theory Essay

615 Words3 Pages
In order to understand any phenomenon, the underlying causes must first be uncovered to display all of the possible reasons for such an occurrence. It is by using this assumption that the following measure will be introduced, relying specifically on Robert Merton's Strain Theory. Strain theory purports that an individual(of lower class status) is lured into delinquent behaviour and gang membership when he/she lacks the legitimate means of acquiring material possessions characteristic of the middle class , and therefore chooses illegitimate means of doing so. Merton emphasises that strain occurs as there is a barrier between cultural goals and the means of actually obtaining them. Other contributors to strain theory were Albert Cohen, Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin. These theorists highlighted that individuals are socialised to have high expectations but they are not afforded the conventional educational and occupational opportunities to meet these expectations. Therefore, unconventional means of obtaining necessities may appear more efficient and may be manifested in the form o...

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