These strains lead to negative emotions, such as frustration and anger.
These adaptations describe the kinds of social roles people adopt in response to cultural and structural pressures. Conformity, for instance, is a nondeviant adaptation where people continue to engage in legitimate occupational or educational roles despite environmental pressures toward deviant behavior.
Instead, the innovator moves into criminal or delinquent roles that employ illegitimate means to obtain material success. Driven by the dominant cultural emphasis on material goals, lower-class persons use illegitimate but expedient means to overcome these structural blockages.
However, Merton goes on to explain a much broader range of deviant phenomena than just lower-class crime and delinquency. His third adaptation, ritualism, represents quite a different sort of departure from cultural standards than does innovation.
In Merton's formulation, anomie becomes the explanation for high rates of deviant behavior in the U.S. compared with other societies, and also an explanation for the distribution of deviant behavior across groups defined by class, race, ethnicity, and the like. Below is a free excerpt of "A Critical Analysis Of Merton'S Theory Of Anomie" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples. This paper will argue that Robert K. Merton’s theory of anomie is a good foundation for the explanation of deviance in society; it is far too general in its assumptions and much too vague in its consideration of certain circumstances/5(1). Merton’s theory of social structure and anomie. First presented in , Merton's anomie theory of deviant behavior played a major part in the development of the field of deviance and continues to influence the work of many contemporary sociologists. No other theory so well exemplifies the macro-normative approach to the analysis of deviance.
The ritualist is an overconformist. Merton argues that this adaptation is most likely to occur within the lower middle class of American society where socialization practices emphasize strict discipline and rigid conformity to rules. Merton has no doubts about the deviant nature of his fourth adaptation, retreatism, the rejection of both cultural goals - and institutionalized means.
Therefore, retreatism involves complete escape from the pressures and demands of organized society.
Despite the obvious importance of ritualism to the study of deviant behavior, Merton provides few dues as to where, in the class structure of society, this adaptation is most likely to occur. Retreatism is presented as an escape mechanism whereby the individual resolves internal conflict between moral constraints against the use of illegitimate means and repeated failure to attain success through legitimate means.
This adaptation refers, then, to the role behavior of political deviants, who attempt to modify greatly the existing structure of society. The rebel publicly acknowledges his or her intention to change those norms and the social structure that they support in the interests of building a better, more just society.
This is precisely what a general theory of deviance must do. Merton has continued to play an active part in the cumulative development of this macro-normative tradition through his published responses to various criticisms, modifications, and empirical tests of his theory of social structure and anomie Introduction.
Social Theory and Social Structure is a landmark work by Robert King Merton first published in It is one of the most frequently cited works in the social sciences as it is a collection of theories and insights within .
The concept of anomie was first introduced by Emile Durkheim in his book the division of labour During Durkheim’s writing, this concept of anomie was mostly ignored in American criminology. McDermott, Gerald Robert: Civil Religion in the American Revolutionary Period: An Historiographic Analysis: XVIII: 4: McDonald, H.
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Examines the interactions between sociological theory and research in various approaches to the study of social structure. Durkheim's Theory of Social Class Prof.
Timothy Shortell, Department of Sociology, Brooklyn College, CUNY. Division of Labor & Social Integration. In Merton's formulation, anomie becomes the explanation for high rates of deviant behavior in the U.S. compared with other societies, and also an explanation for the distribution of deviant behavior across groups defined by class, race, ethnicity, and the like.