Illegitimate Means, Anomie, and Deviant Behavior Author(s): Richard A. Cloward Source: American Sociological Review, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr., ), pp. The research paper Illegitimate Means, Anomie, and Deviant Behavior written by Richard A. Cloward can be found in American Sociological. Illegitimate Means, Anomie and Deviant Behavior. Front Cover. Richard A. Cloward. Bobbs-Merrill, – Anomy – 13 pages.

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Illegitimate Means, Anomie, and Deviant Behavior

Merton has systematized and extended gehavior theory, directing attention to patterns of disjunction between culturally prescribed goals and socially organized access to them by legitimate means. This communitysituation[in which Sidney andthus was reared]wasnot only disorganized ineffective as a unit of control, but it was characterizedby a high rate of juvenile delinquency and adult crime, not devianr mention Shaw, The Jack-Roller, p.

Here one may point to diverse structural differentialsin access to culturally approved goals by legitimate means, for example, differentials of age, sex, ethnic status, and social class.

Bales, “Cultural Differences in Rates of in the availability of illegitimate means. It focusses, in short, upon variations in the availability of legitimate means. As Frank Tannenbaum says, “it must be insisted on that unless there were older criminals in the neighborhood who provided a moral judgement in favor of the delinquent and to whom the delinquents could look for commendation, the careers of the younger ones could not develop at all.

I hardlyknewany boys who 13 See especially Delinquency Areas, Chapter Views Read Edit View history.

Illegitimate Means, Anomie, and Deviant Behavior

Of those located in the lower reaches of the social structure,the culturemakesincompatible demands. Another example that might be found in developing countries is the differential values of traditional collectivism and modern individualism.

Temperament, intelligence, interpersonal skills, self-efficacy, the presence of conventional social support, and the absence of association with antisocial e.


American Sociological Review, Vol. Where the group was formally organized into a political club, this was immediatelyapparent,but for informalgroups it was no less true. Retrieved from ” https: Hence a certain for deviant behavior. In a general way, therefore, de- we believe that he clearly belongs in the former.

The strain theory of suicide postulates that suicide is usually preceded by psychological strains. Rather, he is concerned quently noted and valuedby adult leadersin primarily with the way in which discrepancies bethe rackets who are confronted,as are the tween status aspirations and possibilities for achieveleaders of all income-producingenterprises, ment generate pressures for delinquent behavior.

Strain theory has received several criticisms, such as: I found that in every group there was a hierarchicalstructureof social relationsbinding the individualsto one anotherand that the groupswere also relatedhierarchicallyto one another.

Sutherland, may be called the “cultural transmission” and “differential association” tradition. Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. There may be a duction, and assumption of full status in the surplus of contendersfor these elite positions, criminal group-is that motivations or pres- leading in turn to the necessity for criteria sures toward deviance do not fully account and mechanismsof selection.

The study explored how societal strain and stress can lead to drug use by individuals, in particular how one’s neighborhood environment can affect their susceptibility to drug abuse. This possibility helps to account for the fact that certain categories of individuals cited as retreatists -for example, hobos-often show extensive histories of arrests and convictions for various illegal acts.

As Durkheim saw it, sudden depression results in deviant behavior because “something like a declassification occurs which suddenly casts certain individuals into a lower state than their previous one. They provide a general framework for the understanding of the actions of both ‘little guys’ and ‘big shots. The theory was created from Merton’s strain theory to help address juvenile delinquency.


It also helps to explain retreatist adaptations among individuals who have not behavuor internalized strong restraints on the use of illegitimate means. Thieves generally steal in order to secure money, but likewise honest laborers “polar types” on such a continuum. For example, Merton remarks that his “primaryaim is to discover how some social structures exert a definite pressure upon certain persons in the society to engage in non-conforming rather than conforming conduct.

The very abruptness of these changes presumably heightens aspirations beyond possibility of fulfillment, and this too puts a strain on the regulatory apparatus of the society. Merton’s belief became the theory known as Strain Theory. Free Press,pp. Sutherland, Principles of Criminology, 4th edition, Philadelphia: In summary,Merton extends the theory of anomie in two principal ways.

The escape is complete, the conflict is eliminated and the individual is asocialized.

The strain theory of suicide forms a challenge to the psychiatric model popular among the suicidologists in the world. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The problems here are to account for the acquisition of criminal roles and to describe the social organization of criminal activities.

Furthermore, by linking propositionsregardingthe accessibility of both legitimate and illegitimate opportunity structures, a basis is provided for consolidating various major traditions of sociological thought on nonconformity. Until the precise effects of these several variables can be more adequately measured, rates cannot be safely forecast.

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Hence they came to speak of “criminal tradition,” of the “cultural transmission” of criminal values.