Robert Merton’s Strain Theory focuses mainly on crime being influenced by economic success. Everyone wants to climb the economic ladder and become wealthy and for some it is easier than for others. Merton’s theory believes that crime is linked tightly with social classes, when a class goes up then the crime rate goes down. This theory relies very strongly on the belief that people commit crimes solely to move up in the world and are fueled greatly by the need to become wealthier.
Some things that I believe need to be considered when attempting to understand crime are family life, peers, genetics, environment, race, crimes committed by middle and upper class citizens, values, and the amount of destructive crimes.
I believe that ones family life while growing up needs to be taken into account when trying to understand crime because the way someone is raised and/or treated growing up has some influence on people who grow up to become criminals. While the families could be another pressure to gain more money they could also be an influence to commit other crimes. Something else that could be taken into account is genetics. Some people believe that genetics has a great influence on what people do and if they commit crimes. This also ties into ones families. Ones peers also should be taken into account. Some people could be influenced by their peers to participate in criminal activities. People who grow up in low socioeconomic neighborhoods are more likely to be surrounded by people who commit crimes and are more likely to be influenced by these people. Gangs could even be prevalent in some neighborhoods and be a factor for someone becoming a criminal. Someone’s environment could somewhat tie into family and peers, but when someone grows up surrounded by crime or criminal behaviors, than they are more likely to participate in these behaviors as well.
Race is something that can have a great influence on whether or not people commit crimes. I believe there may be some self-fulfilling prophecy things going on because so many people expect certain races to commit these crimes, or see certain races as criminals, many...