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Emile Durkheim & Anomie Or Strain Theory - Example Papers

Emile Durkheim & Anomie Or Strain Theory


DURKHEIM AND ANOMIE OR STRAIN THEORY
by Brent M. Pergram, Masers of Arts in Sociology
Emile Durkheim is the founder of the study of anomie theory or strain theory that believes that anomie or strain causes a person to commit suicide or some other deviant act. This research paper will discuss several articles that deal with strain theory and with Durkheim’s theory of anomie. I will also discuss articles on Merton’s strain theory, and on Agnew’s General Strain Theory that expands the concept of strain. Durkheim is the founder of anomie theory, but Merton, and later Agnew made changes to the theory to try to make it a general theory that could explain most types of deviance.
Anomie is ...

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his classic 1897 book Suicide, referring to a morally deregulated condition were people have inadequate moral control over their actions. Therefore, a given society may be anomic if people do not know when to stop striving for success, or how to treat others along the way. Regardless of which of these two descriptions of anomie one uses, a brake down in either the rules of society or the moral norms, Durkheim clearly meant to describe a disruption or normal societal conditions. Durkheim was preoccupied with the effects of social change. Durkheim best illustrated his concept of anomie not in a discussion of crime but of suicide.
In the Division of Labor in Society, Durkheim proposed two concepts. First, that societies evolved from a simple, non-specialized form, called mechanical, toward a highly complex, specialized form, called organic. In a simple mechanical society people behave and think alike, and basically perform the same work tasks and have the same group-oriented ...

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between what the culture calls for and what the structure permits that causes deviant behavior. Thus deviance is a symptom of the social structure. Merton borrowed Durkheim’s notion of anomie to describe the breakdown of normative systems.
Merton’s theory does not focus on crime, but upon various acts of deviance, which may lead to criminal behavior. Merton believes that there are certain goals which are strongly emphasized by a given society. Society emphasizes certain means to reach those goals, such as education, and hard work. But not everyone has the equal access to the legitimate means to attain those goals, which sets the stage for anomie.
Merton presents five modes of ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/21/2005 06:19:10 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 7826
Pages: 29

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