The General Strain Theory Of Crime Essays

The General Strain Theory Of Crime Essays

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Criminology is a study, which is constantly changing due to the fact that it is based on the political, economic and spiritual concerns of our society. Many theories come to light and then fade away as the societal climate changes. Agnew’s General Strain theory is one the many theories that have been pushed aside; however, it has been remodeled by recent developments in criminology. The general strain theory has defined three major types of strain that may link to the causation of crime. In light of the fact that there are several factors that can motivate a person to commit crime, opportunity is key in the midst of all. Crime Opportunity is another important theory to consider since it exhausts various perspectives in order to determine what provokes people to engage in crime. This meaning, it is impossible for anyone to engage in criminal activity when the odds are unfavorable and there are high risks. While both theories share similarities, Robert Agnew’s general strain theory appears to focus more on the reason behind criminal activity while crime opportunity theory emphasizes on situations of crime.

Agnew’s General Strain theory focuses on the type of social relationships that lead to delinquency and the motivation for delinquency. His work was based on what was once developed from the work of Durkheim and Merton, two scholars who focused on society being the motive behind deviance. They believed that the inability of society to set financial goals is the reason behind the growth in criminal behavior which ultimately results to the breakdown of society. In light of Durkheim and Merton’s original strain theory, Agnew attempted to explore strain theory from a different perspective that focused on stimuli. He argued that th...


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...Overall, both theories intertwine with one another and provide a better understanding to crime in today’s society. Agnew concentrated on the personal reasons behind criminal acts while Cohen and Felson focused n the environmental factors that ignite crime. Both theorists shared a commonality that crime isn’t something that just occurs but is activated by various macro and micro factors. These theories can also be used to help prevent crime within our society by showing communities ways to helps people cope with the loss of positive stimuli. Strain theory is considered to be the only major theory that focuses explicitly on negative relationships with others and to argue that delinquency results from the negative effects caused by such relationships. The failure to achieve positively valued goals, the loss of positive stimuli, and the presentation of negative stimuli.

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