The strain can be individual or structural. Strain can be felt throughout any community, large or small. General strain theory as an explanation of crime and misuse the word theory is defined as a set of ideas formulated to explain something (Hawkins, 1988, pp 167-234). Strain may be structural, which refers to the processes at the societal level that filter … The theory states that social structures may pressure citizens to commit crimes. General strain theory (GST) provides a unique explanation of crime and delinquency. Strain theory is a sociological theory that tries to explain why people may be drawn to delinquency or crime. Following the work of Emile Durkheim, Strain Theories have been supported by Robert King Merton, Albert K. Cohen, Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin, Robert Agnew, and Steven Messner and Richard Rosenfeld. our understanding of crime and deviance Define what is meant by Strain Theory Explain how strain occurs Outline deviant adaptations to strain Evaluate Merton’s explanation of Crime Compare and contrast Durkheim and Merton’s views Evaluate both views and their usefulness E A* In criminology, the strain theory describes social structures inside society that may support people to carry out crime. One such strain is real or perceived injustice. "What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses of Merton's Strain Theory in Understanding Crime" paper focuses on the social strain theory. The premise of strain theory is that a something or someone in a person’s life is causing the strain that leads them to commit a crime in order to alleviate that strain (Agnew, 2001). In this chapter, we detail the historical and contemporary theoretical development of anomie and strain theories. When Merton (1938) and Sutherland (1940) first presented their respective strain theory and notion of white-collar crime, their concerns and fundamental assumptions were completely at odds with one another. Introduction. According to the theory, some crime may be linked to the presence of anger and frustration that is created by societal or personal strain. Social strain theory was developed by famed American sociologist Robert K. Merton. An increase in strain can lead to an increase in crime. I’m from a town of 3,000 people in rural Iowa. In contrast to control and learning theories, GST focuses explicitly on negative treatment by others and is the only major theory of crime and delinquency to highlight the role of negative emotions in the etiology of offending. Thus, the strain theory (GST) should be regarded primarily as a set of ideas formulated to explain the occurrence of crime because of the stress in life we must face. Despite the plethora of international research supporting anomie and strain theories, comparatively few studies have examined the impact of anomie and strain on crime and delinquency within an Australian or New Zealand context. Strain Theory attempts to explain why crime is resolute amongst the lower classes who are subjected to the least opportunities for economic achievement (O’ Connor 2007). The theory explains that it is the social structures that influence a person to commit a crime. When people fail to meet societal goals, they feel a strain in their lives. While Sutherland's primary focus was on the crimes of the socially elite and powerful, Merton and other classical strain theorists (Cloward and Ohlin, 1960, Cohen, 1955) … Strain theories look through a structural scope to examine crime in society. Agnew’s general strain theory is based on the general idea that “when people are treated badly they may get upset and engage in crime”. 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