Criminal Justice 105 Unit 3

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Theories of Crime Causation
Unit 3 Ind. Project

The Sociological Theories


The author of this paper focuses on the mainstream of criminology and the sociological theories of crime that have dominated the landscape for decades. The author focuses specifically on the social control theory, strain theory, differential association theory and the neutralization theory. These theories are often spoken due to their historical significance which was discovered during research in an attempt to examine delinquency and deviant behavior. Included in this paper the author shares with you her opinion as to the strengths and weaknesses of each theory. Further, she provides you with an example of a recent criminal arrest as it pertains to one of the aforementioned theories and the relevance that it has in explaining the offenders criminal actions.

The first and most influential strain theorist is Robert K. Merton (1938). His original statement of anomie/strain theory is the basis for all of the theoretical developments. The strain has two associate components the first component is strictly focused on the concept of anomie (abnormalities), while the second is centered on the social structures, and the influences that society contributes to the strain theory. If you were to separate or combined these two components either way can lead an individual to a higher level of deviance and/or criminal behavior. According to Merton (1938) He suggests that if there is an imbalance when establishing goals, and definition of how to obtain these goals are left without the means that are necessary to achieve these goals. Further, Merton places emphasis upon monetary success within society; he suggests that the behaviors associated are expected when all members in America…...

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