General Strains Theory : General Strain Theory Essay

General Strains Theory : General Strain Theory Essay

Length: 1482 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

General Strain Theory
Noel Rangel
University of North Texas at Dallas

There are many theories to choose from and I decided to choose and focus on general strain theory. I chose general strain theory because I believe this particular theory applies to a lot of people across the United States, especially those people who are in the middle class and below. First I am going to explain what general strain theory is and what Agnew finds most important about it. Secondly, what micro level components are used in this theory and how they affect people. Lastly, I am going to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of general strain theory. Not everyone falls victim to general strain theory because not everyone is in the same social and economical predicament. A lot of people are unfortunate to go through these strains/stressors of life and it all comes down to how one chooses to deal with the hand life dealt them.
Dr. Robert Agnew (2013) took Robert Merton’s classical strain theory one-step further, as in; he expanded the boundaries of the theory. General strain theory focuses on a lot more variables other than not being able to be successful because of a blockage caused by society. Agnew talks in depth of the different levels of strain, what can be defined as strain, and why people who are affected by strain engage in crime (p.203). Robert Merton’s main focus was that individual’s monetary successes is blocked and therefore have to engage in illegal activities to achieve their goals. Robert Agnew argues that this does not cause crime; his point of view was that people were not able to escape from these negative conditions and in result, engage in crime (p. 203). Agnew was more interested on how people coped with crime...

... middle of paper ...

... way and was started by people like Durkheim and Merton and many others and eventually was the inspiration for Robert Agnew’s research. Robert Agnew took what was already there and added different variables to what is now know as general strain theory. It is interesting to see what characteristics an individual must have in order to resort to criminal coping. There are many people out there that are unaware of the research that is being done to answer the question, why do people commit crime? This research will continue to grow and more theories will continue to emerge in future years to come.

Works-Cited Page

Agnew, R. (2012). Reflection on “A Revised Strain Theory of Delinquency”. Social
Forces, 91(1), 33-38

Cullen, F., & Agnew, R. (n.d.). Criminological theory: Past to present, essential readings (Fifth ed.).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The General Strain Theory

- Proposed Topic Exploring the role of negative emotions among murderers in a population of federal offenders: the General Strain Theory Introduction The General Strain Theory (GST) states that people who commit crimes are pressured into them by negative emotions that result from a variety of life strains. Negative emotions cause them to feel in a negative way and thus creating pressure on them to act in a variety of ways, with crime and violence being one possible response. GST has been explored among many different populations, but what has not been explored was its ability to predict crime of murder....   [tags: Psychology, Negative Emotions ]

Better Essays
2135 words (6.1 pages)

Essay about Robert Agnew Developed General Strain Theory

- Robert Agnew developed general strain theory (GST) in 1992 based off of Robert King Merton’s strain theory. The theory explains that people are pressured into crime. Agnew argues there are multiple sources of strain, which include but are not limited to; objective and subjective strains, experienced, vicarious, and anticipated strains. He also discusses which strains are most likely to lead to crime and why. Agnew believes people engage in crime because they experience strains or stressors and that crime is a type of corrective action to cope with, reduce, or escape their strains....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Social control theory]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about General Strain Theory Of Crime And Delinquency

- Matt Maready CRM 255 Dr. Maume 29 April 2015 General Strain Theory There are many different criminological theories that try to explain why certain crime is committed. As far as the matters of crime and delinquency are concerned, one of the most influential theories comes to mind: Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory. According to the text, general strain theory (or GST as it is most commonly abbreviated) “starts with the assumption that negative relationships with others causes strain or stress in people’s lives” (Kauzlarich, Barlow 251)....   [tags: Criminology, Crime, Juvenile delinquency]

Better Essays
973 words (2.8 pages)

Rational Choice Theory Vs. Strain Theory Essay

- Crime exists everywhere. It is exists in our country, in the big cities, the small towns, schools, and even in homes. Crime is defined as “any action that is a violation of law”. These violations may be pending, but in order to at least lower the crime rate, an understanding of why the crimes are committed must first be sought. There are many theories that are able to explain crimes, but three very important ones are rational choice theory, social disorganization theory and strain theory. Rational choice theory is the theory that people commit crimes by choice of their own reasoning and will and not by force....   [tags: Sociology, Criminology, Emotion, Crime]

Better Essays
1235 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about Merging Agnew's General Strain Theory and Hirschi's Social Bond Theory

- The two theories I have decided to merge are Agnew’s General Strain Theory and Hirschi’s Social Bond Theory. I picked General Strain Theory because it does a good job at discussing some of the things that can trigger the release of a person’s negative emotions which in turn may lead to deviant behavior. I also decided to write about Social Bond Theory because it describes some of the factors that keep people from committing crime. Both of the theories have strengths and weaknesses individually, but when merged they help fill in each other’s gaps....   [tags: Sociology ]

Better Essays
1899 words (5.4 pages)

The Theories Of The Anomie And Strain Theory Essay

- 2. The leading theorists in the Anomie and Strain Theory are Émile Durkheim and Robert K. Merton. According to Reid (2012), Durkheim was born in 1858 and later died in 1919 (p. 1090. As French sociologist, Durkheim believed that “crime has functional (or positive) consequences, such as fostering flexibility” (Reid, 2012, p. 109). An excerpt from Jones (1986) notes that Durkheim grew up with a Jewish influence and later attended a rabbinical school for his early education (para. 1). Later, Durkheim broke away from Judaism later and attends college at Collège d 'Epinal, where he studied in Letter and Sciences (para....   [tags: Sociology, Crime, Criminology, Criminal justice]

Better Essays
1509 words (4.3 pages)

The Revival of the Strain Theory Essay

- Researchers are constantly looking for explanations for criminal patterns and crime rates among juveniles. They have presented many theories to serve as such explanations with strain theory being one of them; however, like many other theories, strain theory was pushed aside decades ago. It was not until recently that this theory was given new life by criminologist, Robert Agnew. Robert Agnew introduced this new development as the general strain theory. GST was the first supposition that was not tied to social class or cultural variables as it was in previous implications of Émile Durkheim’s anomie theory....   [tags: Criminal Patterns, Crime Rates, Juveniles]

Better Essays
1288 words (3.7 pages)

The Problem Of Strain Theory Essay

- INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY Exam 1 Please answer four of the following questions. Your responses should be exhaustive and address all parts of the question. While there is not a minimum length, to adequately answer each question, I would expect each response to be 2-3 paragraphs. 1. Please outline Strain Theory. Strain Theory is when people who experience a strain (event or conditions that are disliked by the individual) engage in crime. Robert Agnew used the example of a person who is desperate need of money or they believe they are being mistreated by their family members; thus becoming upset, experience rage of all these negative emotions....   [tags: Sociology, Criminology, Criminal justice]

Better Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Strain Theory Essays

- Robert Agnew is known for his general strain theory. The theory explains that the basis of people getting involved in criminal activity is because of strain. If someone becomes upset, frustrated, depressed, or mistreated they will turn to crime in order to deal with the feelings. Yet, not all people turn to crime in order to deal with strain or stressors. There are different ways to measure strain. Subjective strains are those strains that are disliked by particular person or group. This approached is aimed at how the person reacts to the way they are treated....   [tags: Psychology ]

Better Essays
1373 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Criminal Motivation in Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory

- Criminal Motivation in Robert Agnew's General Strain Theory Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) argues that strain or stress is the major source of criminal motivation. He expands upon Merton’s Anomie Theory of strain and stress to include several causes of strain or stress. Agnew categorizes 3 types of strain that produce deviance: the failure to achieve positively valued goals, the loss of positive stimuli, and the introduction of negative stimuli. There are several different actions that can be taken to correct the strain in order to curb deviance, including exercise, counseling, and advocacy programs....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
833 words (2.4 pages)