Robert k merton essay

Social Structure and Anomie Length: He suggests that when there is a disparity between these two elements, and norms of acceptable behaviour fail to be regulated, it allows criminals and deviants free reign.

Robert k merton essay

In conceiving of society as a system it becomes natural to see it, like other systems, as composed of parts that are interrelated and whose operations have consequences on the whole. For example, when examining a simple system like the human body it becomes readily apparent that the various organs are interrelated and impact the overall health of the body.

Many researchers agree that, in the United States, most arrests for street crime involve people of lower class position. Why, according to Robert K. Merton, Albert Cohen, Walter Miller, and Elijah Anderson, would this be the case? Write about Compare and contrast Merton's theory and the labelling theory of deviance in the first sentence. Your Essay Outline. In the 's Robert k Merton wrote an article entitled Social Structure and Anomie. It became one of the most influential explanations of crime and deviance. On Theoretical Sociology: Five Essays, Old and New by Robert K. Merton (Author) out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews/5(4).

So is it with sociocultural systems. Functional analysis is a consequence of thinking of society as a total system. Functionalism is the analysis of social phenomena in terms of their effect on other phenomena and on the sociocultural system as a whole.

The functional orientation has long been implicit in biology and physiology, as well as in the social sciences of anthropology, economics, and sociology. Social scientists as diverse as Malthus, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, and Weber have each engaged in describing the interrelationships between social phenomena.

One assumption of traditional functionalism is that all widespread activities or items are functional for the entire system. Functional unity, Merton stated, cannot be assumed; at most it is an empirical question to be determined by social research.

Further, it is possible for some social or cultural items to have functions for some groups within a social system and not for others. A second assumption of traditional functionalism is that all such prevalent activities and cultural elements have sociological functions and are therefore necessary for the maintenance of that system.

Sociocultural systems may well have functional needs or prerequisites, Merton asserted, but these needs may be met by a diversity of forms.

One of the charges hurled against functional analysis in the s and s, and still echoed today, is that functionalism is an inherently conservative perspective devoted to preserving the status quo. Merton suggested that this charge is due to the fact that analysts, chiefly in anthropology, have adopted these postulates that are untenable and unnecessary to the functional orientation.

The analyst must recognize, Merton asserted, that institutional structures and cultural elements are interrelated and mutually supporting, and that the dominant orientation of sociocultural systems is to stability. Merton insisted that social structures can only be analyzed in terms of both statics stability and dynamics change.

The concept of dysfunction allows functional theory to focus on change. The concept of dysfunction is based on tension, strain, or contradictions within component elements of sociocultural systems. Social mechanisms within the system, including the interrelation and predominantly mutually supporting elements of the system, operate to keep these strains in check, attempting to limit or minimize change of the social structure.

However, such mechanisms are not always effective, and the accumulation of stress and resulting conflict often cause systemic change. One of the primary goals of functional analysis is to identify these dysfunctions and examine how they are contained or reduced in the sociocultural system as well as how they sometimes cause systemic or fundamental change.

The failure to distinguish between functions and motives is one of the chief sources of confusion for students of functionalism. The observer Merton is implicitly referring to is the social scientist.

The descriptive protocol recommended by Merton consists of four postulates. First, the analyst should make a systematic account of the pattern of behavior of interest as well as the people participating in the behavior. This account should include a detailed description of the social status of participants and onlookers as well as the types and rates of their interactions.

Merton, always concerned with the relationships between theory and methods, attempted to summarize the types of data needed to be collected to perform functional analysis. What types of data need to be included in observations, and what types of data can be safely excluded?Robert K.

Merton essays In his work, Robert Merton addresses many of the fundamental flaws in structural functionalism as a whole. His theories are much more versatile, dealing with many of the criticisms of structural functionalism.


While, he was not a pioneer of grand theories as was Parsons, rath. Robert K. Merton was born on 4 July in Philadelphia as Meyer Robert Schkolnick This is a subsequent modification of Merton's norm set, as he did not refer to Originality in the essay that introduced the norms (The Normative Structure of Science []).

Robert k merton essay

Robert Merton originated what has come to be termed the Strain Theory in Criminology. He distinguishes between the institutionalised goals of a society and its cultural means which a “social structure defines, regulates, and controls the acceptable modes of achieving these goals” (Merton, p68).

Some indication of Merton's influence is contained in a stimulating collection of essays, edited by Lewis A. Coser, in celebration of Merton's 65th birthday: The Idea of Social Structure: Papers in Honor of Robert K.

Merton (). Many researchers agree that, in the United States, most arrests for street crime involve people of lower class position. Why, according to Robert K.

Robert k merton essay

Merton, Albert Cohen, Walter Miller, and Elijah Anderson, would this be the case? Employing Durkheim’s concept of anomie, Robert K Merton, an American sociologist, developed his theory of deviance by analysing the American reward system.

Merton’s argument is that in a well-regulated society, goals and the means of achieving these .

Robert K. Merton: On Structural Functionalism