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Describe why the individuals in the Asch experiment usually gave the same answer when they probably knew that it was wrong.

Describe why the individuals in the Asch experiment usually gave the same answer when they probably knew that it was wrong.

Describe why the individuals in the Asch experiment usually gave the same answer when they probably knew that it was wrong.
SOC 1001 Discussion Merton’s Strain Theory

During this fourth week, we are examining why most people
tend to conform in most of their social interactions, while others deviate from
the existing social norms. After you have read the reading assignment and
lecture for this week, please respond to all parts of the discussion by the due
date assigned:

Review the section on Asch’s Research from your textbook.
Describe why the individuals in the Asch experiment usually gave the same
answer when they probably knew that it was wrong. How do social control and
social bonding explain conformity?

While the pressure to conform is intense, people continue to
deviate. Using either Merton’s Strain Theory or Becker’s Labeling Theory,
explain why some people choose to become deviant.

Finally, major crimes occur in our society. Pick a current
event (local or national) and describe the crime. Analyze the crime in terms of
Durkheim’s four major functions of deviance.

Remember to also respond to the posts of at least two others
in our class by the end of the week.

Strain theory is a sociology and criminology theory developed in 1938 by Robert K. Merton.[1] The theory states that society puts pressure on individuals to achieve socially accepted goals (such as the American dream), though they lack the means. This leads to strain which may lead individuals to commit crimes, like selling drugs or becoming involved in prostitution as a means to gain financial security.[1]

Strain could be:

Structural: this refers to the processes at the societal level which filter down and affect how the individual perceives his or her needs, i.e. if particular social structures are inherently inadequate or there is inadequate regulation, this may change the individual’s perceptions as to means and opportunities; or
Individual: this refers to the frictions and pains experienced by an individual as he or she looks for ways to satisfy his or her needs, i.e. if the goals of a society become significant to an individual, actually achieving them may become more important than the means adopted.

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SOC 1001 Discussion Merton’s Strain Theory
SOC 1001 Discussion Merton’s Strain Theory

Merton’s theory
Robert King Merton was an American sociologist who argued that society can encourage deviance to a large degree. Merton believed that socially accepted goals put pressure on people to conform. His theory was developed largely due to the social and economic circumstances occurring in the United States during the early 1900s.[2] Robert Merton’s Strain Theory stems from a fundamental question that he posed on why the rates of deviance were so different among different societies. He thought that there could be deviance where there is a difference between what defines success and the proper means to achieve said goals. He found that the United States is a prime example of high levels of deviance because of the high social value of achieving success, primarily monetary, but there are contradictions to the means for acquiring such success. Employees who have a college education are respected but the robber barons who stole for their money were also admired, which demonstrates that success is viewed as more important than the actual means to achieve success.

In addition, he saw how minority groups had a harder time acquiring a good education, and if they could, they had a harder time acquiring a respectable living; yet the same high standard for success is enforced on everyone regardless if they had the means to satisfy such standards. These contradictions led him to develop the strain theory because of society’s high reverence towards achieving “success.”[3] Individuals are forced to work within the system or become members of deviant subcultures in order to achieve socially prescribed goals. Merton’s belief became the theory known as Strain Theory. Merton added that when individuals are faced with a gap between their goals (usually monetary) and their current status, strain occurs. When individuals are faced with strain, Merton outlined five different ways that they respond:[1]

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