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Criminology Theory Analysis - Essay Example

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Criminology Theory Analysis

Merton, then, explains how people cope with social norms, goals, standards and means of achieving the prescribed goals. When people are able to conform with the legitimate means of achieving the prescribed goals, they conform with the social norms. In an anomic society, people cope through different means. There are ritualists, those who conform with the legitimate means, conforming to social norms but not expecting to achieve the prescribed goals. When people cannot achieve the prescribed goals through legitimate means, they tend to find other ways, resorting to illegitimate means of achieving the goals. This creates deviance and individuals begin to adapt using rebellion, innovation or retreatism. Individual’s choice of adaptation depends on how they view the prescribed goals and means in achieving it. It depends on their willingness to conform or reject the standards set by the society.
Sex work or prostitution can be legitimate or illegitimate depending on the set of values and norms of the society. The exchange of sex for money or material possessions equivalent to the service given can be viewed in different perspectives. A society that views it as legitimate will have no problem since people conform to the social standards of working to get economically successful, one the ultimate prescribed goals of most societies. If prostitution is viewed as illegal in the society, then, it becomes a deviant behavior.
The standards, norms and values of the society are created and developed through the shared meanings of the majority or the entire society. These socially accepted standards, norms and values becomes the guiding principle of the individual’s behavior and lives. This becomes the basis of their means in achieving the prescribed goals of their societies. Economic success has been one of the measures of being successful as an individual. This can be classified as a prescribed goal by the society, as it creates personal and economical ...Show more

Summary

Robert Merton’s strain theory explains deviant behavior in terms of anomie and the collapse and discrepancy of achieving the culturally prescribed goals and legitimate means of achieving it. The society defines the goals and the legitimate means in achieving these goals. For…
Author : ngislason
Criminology Theory Analysis essay example
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