Criminological Theory Of Crime Essay

Words: 483
Pages: 2

Throughout the ages many theorists have attempted to explain what causes crime in any given society. While many theories differ quite drastically, there is a collection of criminological perspectives that revolve around a general basis of ‘social institutions’ and their subsequent effects on crime. For the purpose of this paper, two of these theories will be examined in further detail; Messner and Rosenfeld’s Institutional Anomie Theory and secondly, Sampson and Grove’s reprisal of the Social Disorganization Theory. Both of these theories, first published in their respective journals over twenty years ago, share a general idea of how social institutions and their structures can affect the criminal behaviour within a society. However, while these two …show more content…
This flaw was first and successfully argued by Barbara Sims in her 1997 article, Crime, Punishment, and the American Dream: Toward a Marxist Integration.
In 1994, Richard Messner and Steven F. Rosenfeld published their first edition of Crime and the American Dream: An Institutional Analysis in the 6th volume of the well respected journal, Advances in Criminological Theory. In this initial article of theirs, the two men set out to improve upon Robert Merton’s 1954 Anomie Strain Theory, which they believed that while generally correct, it lacked a sufficient analysis of social structure. In order to improve upon Merton’s foundation of anomie strain, Messner and Rosenfeld introduced the idea of there being four major institutions in any social structure, that all serve very diverse but supposedly independent roles. These four institutions include the systems of the economy, the family,