The Sociological Theory Of Anomie

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What is the sociological theory of Anomie? How far, and in what ways, has it contributed to our understanding of crime? Anomie is a theory that was first introduced in 1983 by the French sociologist ‘Emile Durkheim. His theory would help us to understand why many individuals turn to crime. It mostly concentrated on the lower class but can also be seen in the middle class. Apart from Durkheim, otherwise known as the father of sociology, there are other sociologists who have their own theory of anomie. Robert. K. Merton, an American sociologist, though argued by many that his understanding of anomie is identical to Durkheim’s, he himself insists otherwise. Society hates criminals, but Durkheim believed that crime plays a major part in keeping society balanced. That crime is surrounded by significant circumstances and that it is necessary for the development of ethics and law. However, although he thought crime was necessary, he didn’t suggest that crime is acceptable. His theory of anomie is that the individual has cut himself off from the rest of society, already becoming a social outcast prior to becoming a criminal. When people break away from the system and disconnect themselves from the central moral code and the law, it is then that people feel as if they have nothing to lose, because they don’t feel part of society anymore, so they turn to crime. Durkheim characterized the modern individual as insufficiently integrated into society because of these weakening social bonds. Social regulation breaks down and the controlling influence of society is rendered ineffective on the desires and interests of the individual. These individuals are therefore left to their own devices. Due to the criminal nature that human b... ... middle of paper ... ...ieving them, causing chaos. Anarchists, who after a while will substitute societies goals with their own goals, which will benefit them. . The Strain Theory’s foundation is the concept of understanding that misconduct is effectively brought about when people are incapable of obtaining their goals by methods acceptable to society. In such cases, individuals may turn to illegitimate channels of goal achievement or strike out at the source of their frustration in anger. Current strain theories are dominated by Merton, Cohen (a), and Cloward and Ohlin. These Strain Theories although dissimilar in many ways, characterize misconduct as the failure of young people to gain societies goals through legal, socially acceptable pathways. Merton Cloward and Ohlin all centre their theories on the failure of young people being able to become economically viable and successful.
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