Blog #4: Merton and London Riots

            The video about the London Riots refers to Robert Merton’s theory of modes of adaptation to anomie. The modes of adaptation to anomie that I’ve noticed in the video are Retreatism, Innovation, and Rebellion. Retreatism is rejecting goals and means, withdraw emotionally, socially. Innovation is to strive toward culturally prescribed goals, but by illegitimate means. Rebellion refers to the role behavior of political deviants, who attempt to transform the existing structure of society. Retreatism occurred in the riot because the motive escalated from the death of one man to the protest of anger citizens against police to the argument of tuition costs. However, the riot did occur among younger age groups, but it also had different age groups as well who gathered together as one to rebel against the police. According to one of person involved in the riot, he stated a chance like this might never come and it was an opportunity to get revenge not the police but the government because they make it hard for them to get jobs, cut their benefits, and raise tuition. Therefore, a way they were hurting the government financially was by burning building. A young man says, “They felt like we felt, they felt threated by us, it was the best three days of my life”. The purpose of the riot was a way for the citizens of London voices to be heard by the government instead of constantly being ignored and pushed aside.


3 responses to “Blog #4: Merton and London Riots

  1. I can see some of retreatism, but I completely agree on seeing Rebellion and Innovation. Those two modes are closely related to what the people in the riot wanted from the government and the police.

  2. One of the socailly acceptable ‘ways of being’ treated in a respectfull manner within the rank and file of society is to have enough capital to maintain an acceptable image. But that wouldn’t work, for then those who shicfted their identities would no longer be themselves! Quite silly, but true! One of the biggest, if not the biggest blemishs, is a lack of means. How this ties together with the most straight forward of the concepts, which is, ‘the division of work. Alienation, and anomie are the states of being in which one dwells subsequent to receiving their sentence.

  3. I personal think although this whole riot seems like a rebellion movement, yet it’s most likely an innovation movement. In the video we see people break into stores and taking anything they want, throwing stones at the polices. Most of the riot people really don’t cares about the guy that was killed by the police. All they want was to act out the behavior that they didn’t have the guts to do when they were by themselves.

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