Political Correctness And The American Dream Essay

Political Correctness And The American Dream Essay

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This paper seeks to discover if, political correctness has introduced social deconstruction to Merton’s unifying idea of social institutions like the American Dream and if the theory’s assumptions on criminal deviance are still applicable to this new model of social discourse.
Literature Review
Merton (1938) described deviance in terms of goals and means as part of his strain/anomie theory (Merton, 1938). Where Durkheim states that anomie is the confounding of social norms, Merton believes that anomie is the state in which social goals and the legitimate means to achieve them do not correspond (Taylor, Walton, & Young, 1974). Often, non-routine collective behavior, such as rioting or looting, is said to be a resultant of excessive pressure and strain (Olds, 1955). By assumption, there must be two dimensions, routine and non-routine, that help determine how well society adapts to new cultural goals. If studies presented by Morris (2001) and Schafer and Crichlow (1996) are correct, then society 's perceptions about the ideal life, must be dependent on institutionalized means and norms (Morris, 2001, and Schafer & Crichlow, 1996). As described by Katz (1996) , if members of society as a group are introduced to ideals that deviate from the institutionalized means, routine collective behaviors will be modified and non-routine collective behaviors will increase (Katz, 1996).
The artfulness of the anomie theory as described by the researcher Baron (2005) in his study is the acceptance of the notion that an individual’s deviance is an independent variable. In most societies the institutional norms function as dependent variables (Baron, 2005). Baron assumes that Merton’s model works within the overall functionalist perspe...

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...believed that social deconstruction can betray or subvert the reality of any event. This evisceration of fact occurred when advocates introduced hyperbole and stereotyping to a form of a social conspiracy theory to create exaggerated social conditions (Morris, 2001).
Finally, the researcher Agnew (1997) in his study suggested that social rebellion is somewhat similar to retreatism, because the individuals reject the cultural goals and means of their society (Agnew, 1997). Agnew’s study suggests that retreatism at the individual level creates structural parallels between Merton’s anomie and political correctness. Those parallels may represent a possible link in the Marxist ideology of political correctness and the differential associations of Merton’s anomie (Agnew, 1997). If Agnew is correct, anomie is the oxygen that makes political correctness’s fire possible.

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