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Social Structure: Strain Theory

Describe Strain Theory from Robert Merton. What is your informed position on the theory based on random sampling reading?

Strain theory talks about how people of lower economic status' feel strained by their inability to achieve the same things that an affluent person can because of their social class and therefore resort to crime and violence in order to achieve gratification. Merton added the theory of Anomie which is the lack of social or ethical standards and stated that some people don't have the means to achieve those goals which create different social adaptations. "Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, and Rebellion."

After you've completed the reading, please write a 300-word reflection on the topic and what you've learned from sampling.

Solution Preview

Conformity, Innovation, Ritualism, Retreatism, and Rebellion are the five types of coping mechanisms used by those who are barred from the "American Dream" according to Merton. In reality, the "American Dream" is an illusion to 10s of millions of Americans as only a small percentage of Americans, 10%, earn over $100 a year. The idea that everyone can attain wealth and prestige if they work hard enough, which is the basis of the "American Dream", is a falsity because many people are ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides background information on strain theory by Robert Merton and a 300 word reflection on how those barred from the American Dream use five main coping mechanisms.

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