Anomie is another word for strain — it alludes to the distinction between what a man tries to do and what he can really accomplish. At the point when Robert Merton developed the anomie theory in 1938, he concentrated on the interaction between the accompanying two ideas:
✓ Society imposes expectations or goals on its people — to make money and to be successful.
✓ Society approves only of certain ways to achieve these goals — go to school, work hard, and delay gratification, for example.
Merton contended that poorer classes lack real opportunities for making money and being successful according to society’s standards, which leads to anomie, or strain, or frustration (take your pick). People who live in poor neighborhoods with bad schools and few positive role models are significantly disadvantaged compared to folks who live in better neighborhoods. At some point, people who are disadvantaged recognize that they can’t achieve society’s goals in the approved way, so they resort to crime to achieve success.
Merton’s theory has been exceptionally powerful in criminological circles. However, one feedback of the anomie theory and other similar theories is that the vast majority of people brought up low class neighborhoods don’t carry out crimes, and a few people in higher classes do perpetrate crime. Along these lines, low class frustration in failing to achieve goals or dreams might be an explanation for a few violations, yet it unquestionably doesn’t clarify them all.
Institutional Anomie Theory:
Institutional anomie theory contends that specific institutions assume a vital part in shielding individuals from focusing on material achievement, and, accordingly, these institutions help diminish strain. Families and Churches, for instance, temper the want for material riches. They underline nonmaterial achievement, for example, a great home life, dear companions, and profound quality. These institutions likewise enable individuals to discover approaches to manage strain without falling back on crime.
Tragically, less individuals are going to religious places nowadays, and family unit is breaking on account of high separation rates and the expanding number of births out of wedlock. As indicated by the institutional anomie hypothesis, the reducing effect of these institutions is driving individuals to put more accentuation on material achievement. It likewise diminishes their capacity to manage strain. Thus, more individuals swing to crimes. As positive institutions debilitate, negative institutions may grow. For example, street gangs and drug-trafficking organizations may flourish. As these criminal groups become institutions in some neighborhoods, they pass on negative — not positive — values from generation to generation.