Sociological Theory of Crime: Anomie Theory.


In 1,000 words (excluding title, citations and footnotes), critically examine the theory Anomie in the Paul Rock chapter, for its usefulness in understanding crime and criminal behaviour. Particularly, reflect on:

  • The (implicit or explicit) definition of ‘crime’ that underpins the theoretical approach
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the theory – What kinds of social patterns and specific (criminal/deviant/transgressive) acts does it explain well, and what might it not explain?
  • Identify what you believe to be the most contentious claim about crime raised by this theory, and why this is particularly contentious.

You should be able to complete this assignment based on the Rock article, and you are not required to use additional external sources. However, should you wish to do so, please cite accordingly, and you are also expected to cite class materials appropriately in all instances.


Anomie Theory

The explicit definition of ‘crime’ that underpins the theoretical approach to anomie is that crime is a consequence of a defective social regulation. Emily Durkheim states, “People are said to deviate because of the disciplines and authority of society are so flawed that they offer few restraints or moral direction.”[1]

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