Blog #5 Tupac on Merton’s Social Strain Theory

Blog #5

In Tupac’s interview while in jail, he discusses how crime, particularly in gangs, makes the community work. What I liked about the interview was that he reiterated the fact that gangs should not be self-destructive rather, self-productive. He compares our own government to the biggest gang. We have to show how tough we are. While he was talking about the gangs, he mentioned the main concept which was put forth by the theorist Robert Merton in Strain Theory. Strain Theory states that the social structures within societies may cause its citizens to commit crime. In the example of Tupac, he grew up in a place infested with Poverty, and crime due to, he believes, neglect of others help and access to resources which was the strain caused and that is why the residents of his community were incorporated with crime.

In the interview, Tupac discusses the fact that he was asked to persuade people who looked up to him to try and stop crime but he said he wouldn’t do that. The reason is because tthere are strains in the social structure, i.e. lack of funds, food, resources etc…. He brings about examples of how there are hurricanes and earthquakes and how fast the government (which is the biggest gang of all) helps them out but doesn’t help his community out. This is Tupac’s justification of why his community does crime. Is he for the crime? No he is not. But he believes that the crime is done out of retaliation which is totally understandable. He also says the money that is collected in these bad ways should build communities, and send people to college. I had to disagree with that because if the grounds where you got the money are not honest, then how do you expect good to come from money that was made in a not good way? I feel Tupac had good intentions but wasn’t coming from the right point of view.

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One response to “Blog #5 Tupac on Merton’s Social Strain Theory

  1. I thought Tupac’s interview was a great breakdown of gang life, and how simple it is to depict our government as a gang. He also has a point when he mentions trying to stop gang violence and crime, how is he supposed to look out for what the government should be doing, when the government can’t even help out his own neighborhood?

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