John Merton 's Modes Of Adaptation Essay

John Merton 's Modes Of Adaptation Essay

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Almost 100 years ago, Chicago saw its population double in a short span of time - the majority of the newcomers being foreign-born. There were also many Americans that were migrating into the city at this time. With large amounts of foreigners bringing with them their own set of beliefs and norms, ideological clashes and a lack of conformity was inevitable. Merton’s Modes of Adaptation comes into play here with foreigners coming to a new land and having to re-adapt. This can lead to increased rates of ritualism, retreatism, rebellion and innovation and this means an increase in crime rates.
Many immigrating to Chicago came with next to nothing and lived in substandard conditions . If they found work, the conditions were abhorrent and pay was minimal. Children not in school and under supervised by parents end up on the streets. Undoubtedly many joined one of the gangs already there. Which brings me to my next point: the gangs. Foreigners would form their own cliques and have the potential to become a gang. But the predominate gangs were already there, fighting and killing over the sale of alcohol and turf. While the repealing of the 18th amendment hit their income hard, gangs didn’t disappear but instead found new sources of income - namely contraband and people. 100 years is not that long a time, and the fighting continues to this day.
Durkheim 's Structural-Functionalist Perspective can help explain the crime rates in Chicago in tandem with more individualized approaches. With the influence of the gangs in the politics of the era, the social machine itself held corruption. The ones that were supposed to represent the people instead had a “loss of standards.” Hairlines cracks in the American machine, maybe, but cracks nonethel...


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...skyrockets. The conditions do not all have to be present together as one by itself can be enough.
The reasons for the crimes in Chicago are the reasons why there is crime anywhere. In essence, it is a reflection of not only how an individual views themselves but how a group functions as a whole. Where one discriminates in thought, another would take violent action against their target; does the one who only thinks unkindly not bear a responsibility in this action as well? You have wealthy American citizens fly out of country to commit acts that would be illegal here. If people who are viewed as more advantaged are able to commit such acts, then you will see such acts committed by the ones who hold themselves to be more disadvantaged. People do have free will. But when one looks hard at the evidence, the effect of the group-mind upon the individual cannot be dismissed

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