Merton was a 20th century sociologist whose focus was on social structure and anomie. He was interested in deviance due to high level of defiance in society. Merton questioned how structural conditions affect how different social groups react. He emphasized on the adaptation to anomie in which he defined as a social strain, a mismatch between cultural goals and the means to achieve these goals. Merton speaks on living in a hyper competition society in which people do not value competition itself but winning. For society the ends justify the means, people act to achieve, the goal is to win. Merton introduces four modes of adaptation to anomie: conformity , retreatism, innovation and rebellion. He believes that lack of opportunity, stress on financial success and the egalitarian ideology produces anomie. He believes poverty itself does not lead to crime which i agree with completely. Merton emphasizes that cultural factors accounts for crimes not biology. 

One response to “Merton

  1. If I may retort on your agreement to Merton’s claim that “poverty itself does not lead to crime,” I believe it could actually account for petty crimes; for instance, some people who are in poverty may turn to shoplifting in order to obtain the food/medicine they so desperately need. As evidenced in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” poverty could be considered as one of the factors that leads to a rebellion within the districts. It is mentioned how the wealthy citizens in the Capitol eat as much as they want and drink a special liquid that helps them throw it up in order to make room for more food; just this aspect of their society alone would stir up anger within any poor starving citizen.

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