Topics: Sociology, Criminology, Crime Pages: 3 (732 words) Published: January 18, 2013
Assess the usefulness of sub cultural theories in understanding crime and deviance

I am going to be assessing the usefulness of sub cultural theories in understanding crime and deviance. The functionalist suggested that understanding deviance lies in the studying it function for society rather than the individual itself. Also consensus is essential for society to function. All functionalist therefore argues that forms of social control are necessary to check deviant and to maintain social order.

Merton theory of anomie is based on the ideas of the functionalist. Anomie encourages deviance. Merton understood crime and deviance to be a response to the inability to achieve social goals. This is often referred to as a strain theory of crime, since Merton highlighted a tension or strains between the cultural goals of a society and the legitimate or institutionalised means of achieving these goals.

Merton work can be seen to be the influence by the American dream provided that you work hard in a good job, money a good house and a luxurious lifestyle can be yours. However he said that when the values or culture goals are internalised, many people don't live up to it or achieve it.

Merton presents five modes of adapting to strain caused by the restricted access to socially approved goals and means. He did not mean that everyone who was denied access to society's goals became deviant. Rather the response, or modes of adaptation, depends on the individual's attitudes toward cultural goals and the institutional means to attain them.

Conformity is the most common mode of adaptation. Individuals accept both the goals as well as the prescribed means for achieving those goals. Conformists will accept, though not always achieve, the goals of society and the means approved for achieving them. Individuals who adapt through.

Innovation accepts societal goals but have few legitimate means to achieve those goals, thus they innovate (design) their own means to get...
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