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Criminology theories

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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.

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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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Social Control Theory and Other Criminology Theories

Christopher Gardner was rendered jobless and homeless at the age of 30 in 1981.
With his baby son, Gardner moved from shelter to shelter in San Francisco as he tried to find a job. Gardner eventually managed to get the job of a trainee at a stock-brokerage firm. Through his determination and grit, he managed to rise all the way up and finally own the successful brokerage firm, Gardner Rich, which he founded in 1987.

Research more on Gardner's life whether an individual's environment should be used as an excuse for the individual's positive or negative behaviors in life.

•How might a social control theorist respond to the idea that a person's environment should not be used as an excuse for poor behavior? Why?
•What kind of information about Gardner's background would a social control theorist require in order to be fully informed about Gardner's environment and to explain how he improved his life? Why?
•Can the environment of individuals impact the likelihood that they would be able to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps and succeed in a conventional lifestyle?" How?
•If Gardner, frustrated with his life, had taken up a career of crime, which criminological theories could have been utilized to defend his actions?
•What social control mechanisms might Gardner have encountered in his early life that could have aided his behavior later in life?

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