Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on the nature of crime. However, an understanding of both these theories is important because they help in knowing the nature of crime.The central prop

Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on the nature of crime. However, an understanding of both these theories is important because they help in knowing the nature of crime.

The central proposition made by the strain theory is the idea that social structures and individual situations within a society may be the causes of crimes since the strain put on the individual due to them encourages criminal behavior. This theory emerges from the work of Émile Durkheim and has been further developed by many social scientists following in his footsteps (Cullen, & Agnew, 2006). With regard to the strain which causes crime, there are two possible sources i.e. social structures and individual experiences (Miller et. al., 2002).

The first one comes from the social structures which define how the needs of an individual are to be satisfied. If the social structures are inadequate, especially with regard to satisfying the needs of the middle class, then more people from the middle class may turn to crime if they see a lack of opportunities and have limited means (Miller et. al., 2002). Therefore, in this respect, the blame for criminal activity or the increased rate of crime comes from a failure of social institutions rather than individual negligence.

The second strain can come from the individual since the experience of a person within society can lead him/her to a life of crime (Wikipedia, 2006). For example, if a middle class person sees enough things which lead him to desire more than his/her means then s/he may choose to do things which are illegal to attain those things (Miller et. al., 2002). Of course that person may not actually need those things for their basic survival but the creation of the need can come from their own experiences.

Similar to the strain theory, the social disorganization theory also focuses on the relationship between the individual and the social setup.

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