Chapter 6 Discussion Post (2)

Chapter 6 Discussion Post

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Chapter 6 Discussion Post

Robert K. Merton developed the anomie theory introduced by Emile Durkheim and it was first printed in 1938. At this time it never had a lot of impact in the society and it is described to have been a sleep theory till 1954 when it was reprinted and people got to notice it. Merton describes the gap which Durkheim had presented in a clear manner (Featherstone, & Deflem, 2003). He clearly states that the gap which exists between goals and means is the major reason for crime and this at times leads to suicide which Durkheim was investigating when he came up with the anomie theory.

Therefore Merton would simply describe crime as a result of a conventional way to achieve the goals and objectives of the individuals in the different societal strata he talks about (Cohen, 1965). When the discrepancy between goals and means such that a person is unable to attain what is needed to attain their goals the result is crime as people try to find ways to do whatever they have to do and achieve their goals.


Williams III, F.P., & McShane, M.D. (2018). Criminological theory (7th ed.). New York: Pearson.

Cohen, A. K. (1965). The sociology of the deviant act: Anomie theory and beyond.¬†American sociological review, 5-14.Featherstone, R., & Deflem, M. (2003). Anomie and strain: Context and consequences of Merton’s two theories. Sociological inquiry, 73(4), 471-489.