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Social Theories

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Social Theories

The Shaw and McKay theory studied the way that different ethnicities moved from the inner city to the suburbs around the cities and how crime rates are related to the movement. After each new wave of immigrants came in the ones that were there before would move into the suburbs. However Shaw and McKay found that the high crime rates associated with the inner city did not follow them into the suburbs. Therefor proving that crime rates are representative of the environment in which a person grows up in vs. the actual person.

The Merton strain theory takes a unique vantage point to explain delinquency. His theory suggests everyone has desirable goals that they wish to reach, and when the person does not have to tools to reach these goals he turns to crime to achieve them. Say for example that a goal for a youth is too achieve wealth but he or she does not have the proper education to do this. The youth would probably turn to crime to achieve his or her wealth.

Millers culture conflict theories propose yet another outlook on why the lower class often turns to delinquency to solve their problems. Miller proposes that the lower class has a system of " interrelated attitudes, practices, behaviors, and values characteristics" that are designed to maintain the lower class level of delinquency. Miller proposes that as the lower class has a set of values that keeps them the lower class the middle class has a set of different and higher values that makes them the middle class.

Shaw and McKay's theory describes human nature in a good view. The reason I say this is because they don't blame the person for the delinquency that they commit, they blame the environment that they grew up in. The Merton strain theory also portrays human nature in a good view. The reason I believe this is true is because Merton does not blame the persone he blames the lack of tools that they had when they grew up with. Millers culture conflict portrays human nature in a bad view. The reason that he portrays human nature in a bad view is because he blames the people for their problems.

The mail difference between McKay's theory and Mertons theory is that Mertons theory blames the fact that the person did not have the tools to succeed whereas McKay's theory blames the over all bad environment that the person grew up in. The difference in strain and culture conflict is that strain



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