Merton's Strain Theory

Topics: Sociology, Anomie, Sexual orientation Pages: 2 (412 words) Published: March 4, 2007
Merton's Strain Theory

I learned that Robert Merton borrowed "anomie" from Emile Durkheim. Anomie is the breakdown or absence of social norms and values. This website had little content but was very informative. It outlined the five modes of adaptation to strain.

The five modes are conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion. In the mode of conformity, individuals follow culturally approved goals and the accepted means to achieve these goals. In the second mode, innovation, individuals follow the accepted goals, but do not accept the desired means to achieve them.

The middle mode would be ritualism, where individuals reject and do not follow society's goals. Even though they do not accept these goals, they still continue to live by the rules. The next module is called retreatism. In this mode, individuals abandon both the goals of society ans the accepted means of achieving them.

The fifth and final mode is entitles rebellion. In this stage, individuals have no regards for accepted goals and the means of achieving them. At this stage, they achieve their goals any way they can. This website also says that deviance is a direct symptom of the social structure. It also states that the best ways to achieve the accepted goals of society are through hard work and education.

On the myspace page I found, the boy is deviant first off because is sexual orientation is homosexual. The accepted sexual orientation in almost all communities is heterosexuality. This is the first violation to society's accepted goal. The second thing that I found that would be against the accepted norms of a society would be the cross dressing photos. Women are supposed to dress like women and men are supposed to dress like men. People are not supposed to dress like the opposite sex on a regular basis. Also, the person has that they work as a stripper at a male strip club. I do not know of any society...
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