Sociologist Robert Merton’s theory on the “Social Structure and Anomie ” I believe is extremely accurate and very reoccurring and real issue in today’s society. In America everything is about “making it” or at least “faking it till you make it” or just plain “gettin it” the illegal way. We have vast groups of conformists which are people that although are under the pressures of society stick to ordinary legal ways of making money like getting an education and getting a regular nine to five in corporate America to pay the bills and survive but then we also have people who under the pressure turn to divant ways of making money and being what America calls “successful”. Merton talks about the different modes of adaptation to anomie which are retreatism, ritualism and, innovation. These are the three that I mostly see in our society. We have the people who just can’t deal with the stresses and pressures placed on them so they retreat emotionally, mentally, and socially and turn to deviant behavior such as being drug addicts, drunkards etc. We can see a lot of this everywhere we go especially in NY. Then the second is ritualistic groups which are just people that go through the motions without any aspirations of doing something better or different they just conform and live life like overconformist. I think the ritualistic group is the largest out of the three that I see in NY there are millions of people just living life vicariously through other people’s lives on Instagram which is pretty sad but true. Lastly we have innovators that resort to illegal delinquent criminal activity to obtain economic success. In today’s society this is also seen a lot especially in areas with goups that live below poverty level, mostly groups that are minorities and don’t have access to an education and have probably been felons but the way the social structure is set up is that even if these people wanted to change there lives around they can’t because of there past records so they’re kind of confined and forced into illegal methods to survive.
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- Nicole Hala