These institutional structures are processes at the societal level that are transmitted down to individuals that make up the society. The level of regulation of some social structures determines or defines how a criminal perceives their threats and/or opportunities. This theory is also based on the fact that an individual will go through much difficulties and friction in his attempt to meet societal expectations and goals. If the expectations are very crucial to an individual, they might decide to achieve them via any channel possible without considering the legitimacy of the way required to meet it.
An individual could lose his sense of purpose especially if he feels ignored or sidelined by the society. This could also be accompanied by a person lack of values. (Aakers, 2004) Within the environment, there are strains that could drive individuals to commit a crime. Sandro is locked up in a youth facility when he is still very young and, this drives him to take this desperate action. The police are believed to be behind the imprisonment and, this shows how societal structures are capable of straining individuals in the society. Dubois in his independent work on this theory found out that, in late nineteenth century, many African Americans were strained by radical changes that occurred in the political system. This led them to committing crimes in order to satisfy their needs. (Schmalleger, 2005) This theory can be analyzed either through structural or functional aspect.
The structural aspects emphasize more on the way things work while the functional explanation is based on the reason why certain things happen the way they do. Social systems are often based on the components that make them up and, failure of one component fails to achieve its functions, it results to straining. If the strain persists for a long period, then it is most likely that the whole system will fail. (Akers, 2004) Sandro locked up in jail, and mistreated comes out worse than he was before. Robert Merton had great influence by providing a way of understanding crime resulting from strain. According to Merton there are two main routes through which strain could lead individuals to crime. Expectations associated with culture and the many structural ways that can be used to achieve these goals. He carried out this study during a period when people were to USA to pursue the American dream yet it turns out not to as easy as they had imagined. He asserted that the expectations