Robert Agnew's Strain Theory Analysis

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Deviance can be classified as a constructed social phenomenon and social groups begin to construct rules that can morally define acceptable behaviors and attitudes; however deviance is just the infraction of these constructed rules. Comparing it to a traditional positivist theory there are strain theory and social learning theory. Criminologist, Robert Agnew’s strain theory explores strain and stress increasing crime. There are three categories when it comes to strain theory they are strain as the actual or anticipated failure to achieve positively valued goals, strain as actual or anticipated removal of positively valued stimuli, and strain as actual or anticipated presentation of negative valued stimuli (Agnew, 1992). Deviance can occur if…show more content…
Howard Becker’s 1963, “Outsiders”, is an informative piece that explains each of the terms. According to Becker, during a moral panic the public can become extremely stressed due to strain from the media and the threatening event that is occurring. Becker splits moral entrepreneurs and rule creators into two separate groups; the concept moral entrepreneurs can be defined by Becker as a social group or a group that defines certain behavior defiant and criminal (Becker, 1963). Becker states that rule creators are an individual or specific group that assumes that an event or society is threatened by a phenomenon; which is ultimately not protected by previous existing rules (Becker, 1963). A rule creator’s role is to constantly establish new and improved rules that can maintain society’s norm and protect social groups as they progress (Becker,…show more content…
Cohen speaks about moral panics as a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values as well as interests (Cohen, 1971). The nature of a moral panic is presented in a stereotypical fashion influenced by mass media, politicians, and other right-thinking people (Cohen, 1971). A moral panic can sometimes pass over and become forgotten and other times it has more serious repercussions that can produces changes in legal and social policy; even can change how society views itself (Cohen, 1971). A reoccurring moral panic can be youth culture that has become deviant or delinquent (Cohen, 1971). A sequential model was developed to describe the several stages of a moral panic, these include: warning, threat, impact, inventory, rescue, remedy, and recovery (Cohen, 1971). The rule creators refer to these stages so they can prepare rules to keep up with the current issue or phenomenon that is

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