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Criminology theories

1) Contrast Durkheim's concept of anomie with the development by Merton.

2) What contributions may be made by a feminist approach to the explanation of crime and gender?

3) Compare the contributions of traditional anomie theorists with the contemporary strain theories.

4) Compare and contrast the major subculture theories of delinquency.

5) Compare the conflict perspective with that of critical criminology.

Solution Preview

1) First define Durkheim's concept of anomie and look for differences with Merton's. I give you the definitions but you need to expand on how they contrast. Anomie comes from greek etymology which means "without laws." Anomie refers to an environmental state where society fails to exercise adequate regulation or constraint over the goals and desires of its individual members (Durkheim, 1951: 241-276). It is important to note that Durkheim's conceptualization of anomie is based on a general assumption about the psychological or biological nature of individual human beings. He wrote that the human "capacity for feeling is in itself an insatiable and bottomless abyss" (1951: 247). From Durkheim's viewpoint, individual happiness and well-being depend on the ability of society to impose external limits on the potentially limitless passions and appetites that characterize human nature in general. Under the condition of anomie, however, society is unable to exert its regulatory and disciplining influences. Human desires are left unchecked and unbounded-the individual "aspires to everything and is satisfied with nothing" (1951: 271). Out of disillusionment and despair with the pursuit of limitless goals, many individuals in the anomic society take their own lives. Therefore, high rates of anomic suicide are the product of the environmental condition of anomie.

No author. The Anomie Tradition
Explaining Rates of Deviant Behavior -Adapted from pp. 68-75 of James D. Orcutt, Analyzing Deviance, Dorsey Press, 1983. ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines traditonal theories of anomie versus contemporary versions. Other theories discuss feminist contributions; subculture theories; compares conflict and critical theories. Also provides web and other references from 2000 onward.

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