Crime And Social Order

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Blackmon 1 Leah Blackmon Sociology 201 Deborah Robinson 15 September 2010 Crime and Social Order There are many reasons why an individual may or may not become involved in crime. In his essay, Robert K. Merton writes on the causes of crime. Merton focuses on a pint that society's cultural goals may not be easily attained by everyone. Those who do not have the means to reach these goals, such as family support and a good education, may come up with their own means to reach society's material goals. That usually means reverting to street crimes. These crimes include burglary, vandalism, and selling drugs. Those individuals feel that street crime is the only way they will obtain material success. Merton's theory may stand true when comparing social status with street crime; however, his theory becomes weak when the crimes include white-collar and business crimes. Therefore, Merton's theory has become an “anomie theory”. Anomie meaning to with without norms or in a state of normative confusion. Anomie could be viewed as blocked opportunity, or as a product of a weakening quality and quantity of social ties. The cause could be from social change, broken families, or other changes in an individuals life or “family groups”. These groups are important in an individual's life. Groups such as family, church family, group of friends, and ties with a school. Travis Hirschi emphasized the importance of an individual being attached to one or more of these groups. He theorizes that an individual will deviate from delinquent behavior because their “family groups” look down upon such behavior. That would go against the fundamental human principle to want to be accepted and liked. In order to be liked and accepted, one must conform to the general guidelines of those whom they want to like and accept them. Therefore, if an individual has strong family and/or church ties, they
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