How does strain theory explain violent crime?

How does strain theory explain violent crime?

According to strain theories, some strains or pressures enhance the chance of violence. Individuals get agitated as a result of these stresses, putting pressure on authorities to take corrective action. When this happens within a community, there is a greater likelihood of violence against others. This can be because they believe that violence is how they will resolve their problem or simply because they have nothing better to do.

Strain theories were first proposed by American criminologists Walter Miller and Louis Seston in their book Social Control (1942). They argued that certain social conditions increase the probability of violence. Specifically, they said that periods of high unemployment, poverty, and frustration lead to more violence. The authors also noted that police practices play a role in causing or reducing stress levels within communities. For example, they said that the use of torture by police officers creates a lot of tension within their own departments as well as among the public at large.

Since then, several other scholars have developed strain theories that address different types of violence. Charles Jones, for example, has suggested that incidents of spousal abuse may serve as a form of protest from an unhappy marriage. He wrote that men who beat their wives were not necessarily happy with their lives but rather wanted to send a message to others that they are not going to let anyone treat them this way.

What would a strain theorist say is the main cause of crime?

According to strain theories, some strains or pressures enhance the chance of crime. These tensions cause unpleasant feelings such as frustration and rage. These feelings put pressure on people to take remedial action, and crime is one option. The alternative option is to deal with these tensions by working out how they can be resolved constructively through social interaction or else by withdrawing from society and becoming a hermit.

Crime has many causes but stress is a common factor in most cases. If you are under considerable stress at work for example, this can lead to irritability and anger towards others. You may also find it harder to think clearly and make good decisions. These effects can get worse if you continue to have trouble at work, so try not to worry about things you cannot change.

It is important to note that crime does not necessarily result from stress. Some people who experience significant stress in their lives do not commit crimes. However, for those who do, crime often serves to release their frustrations. When you add violence to release tension, it becomes easier to justify other forms of aggressive behavior such as theft or vandalism.

Strain theorists believe that crime is a solution to a problem rather than a cause per se. They point out that there will always be crime because some people feel pressured to take matters into their own hands when nothing better offers itself up.

What is structural strain?

The theory of social-structural-strain. In sociology, strain theory posits that pressure from societal circumstances, such as a lack of wealth or a lack of excellent education, pushes people to commit crimes. Strains include economic, political, and cultural factors that make criminal activity possible or desirable.

Structural strain is the name given to the interaction between these societal pressures and an individual's personality structure. The more a person depends on illegal activities for their livelihood, for example, the more strain they are under. Structural strain is also said to exist when there are few opportunities for legal employment available to someone who has committed a crime in order to make money.

People differ in their reactions to stressors such as structural strain. Some individuals may become angry or frustrated and turn to crime to get revenge on society or try to create something better for themselves. Others may have problems paying bills or finding safe housing and so turn to crime to get money. Still others may feel like giving up and becoming a burden on society or even committing suicide.

Individuals who do not have enough resources to cope with strain will likely suffer mental health problems. They may go through depression or anxiety attacks for example. People who have too much strain need more resources to cope with it too. They may drink too much alcohol or use drugs compulsively to calm down.

About Article Author

Barbara Pinto

Barbara Pinto is a licensed psychologist, who has been practicing for over 20 years. She has experience in individual therapy, marriage and family therapy, and group therapy. Barbara's areas of expertise include anxiety disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among others.

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