M4Discussion Activity–Explaining Violence Discussion Instructions For this discussion, please answer the following question.
Strain theories seek to explain criminal behavior by the frustration/stress/strain people experience in their lives due to an inability to achieve the goals of society due to a lack of legitimate means. Many of these theories focus on explaining propertycrime (people steal to be able to acquire what they want in life, to be able to meet those success goals of society). This is a very logical argument. Do you think these theories can also explain violent crime? Why or why not? If so, what types of violent crime might they explain? Are there types of violent crime strain theories cannot explain?
Something to think aboutwhen responding…Many of these theories argue that it is the social structure of American society that leads to strain (imbalance of goals and the legitimate means to reach them and an overemphasis on money). The argument isthat there issomething unique in America that leads to our high crime rates compared to European countries. However, when you examine specific types of crime, our rates aren’t that high across all categories of crime. Compared to many European countries, our property crime rates are similar, even lower in some cases. If we have similar rates of property crime, is it really the American social structure that causes strain and thus crime? We do have higher rates of extreme violence (homicide, assaults with a firearm, armed robbery)…can strain theories explain why this is the case?
In addition, to receive full credit for the discussion, you will also have to respond to at least one classmate’s post. Examples of possible responses: oAsk classmate for clarification on the post oChallenging a peer’s comment (support your reason) oDo you agree or disagree with their opinion? Why agree/disagree?