Blog #3 Merton
The Government’s downfall
When referring to Merton’s article “Social Structure and Anomie” he describes tendencies that people exhibit that are innate “biological” drives which are not under the control of what is socially acceptable. What Merton is discussing is a very important issue throughout our society that many people overlook. When reading this article I could not help but think “What is deemed a socially acceptable response?” Merton refers to “social control” in which he states incorporates managing impulses and appropriate social processing when dealing with tensions or conflicts. According to Merton these impulses that arise do not exhibit these two aspects of “social control” and are biological rooted. I do agree with this notion of impulses or non conformity being rooted within a biologically primitive reaction. We could directly relate this to conflicts and tensions that are implemented by the government and the violent reaction that is conveyed by its citizens. Particularly this can be seen in the English riots on police and government due to cutbacks in benefits, education, and high unemployment rates. The government’s blatant disrespect on the English citizens was seen by when the police were terrorizing pedestrians in the streets by searching, harassing, and violently abusing their authority. This consequently leaded into the riots of people fighting back for their rights. These riots are a prime example of Merton’s social theory of people acting on impulse that does not adhere to “social control” due to conflict caused by the government. I do agree with Merton that it is our human nature that leads people to react in an extreme impulsive socially unacceptable ways when dealing with tension exhibited by a higher power. In order to make a change one must make extreme decisions for extreme outcomes in order for the point to be made and recognized. Unfortunately this tendency in which is biologically rooted causes for extremely emotional and inadequate responses that lead only to rioting and violence.
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- Nicole Hala