Social Structure and Anomie Essay   no comments

Posted at 11:49 am in Samples

First and foremost, in order to properly interpret this article, it is imperative to understand what social structure means, as well as anomie. Social structure is the relatively stable pattern of social behavior, and anomie, is the societal condition in which norms break down and there is little moral guidance for individuals. After reading and grasping an understanding of the title of this article, I knew it was going to deal with the norms in society, and deviance, which causes norms to break down in society. After reading this article I must say that I did learn a great deal about social structure. The first part of the article dealt with patterns of cultural goals and institutional norms. There are several elements of social and cultural structures, but two are of immediate importance. The first one consists of culturally defined goals, purposes, and interests, held out as legitimate objectives for all or for diversely located members of the society. The second element of the cultural structure defines, regulated and controls the acceptable modes of reaching out for these goals. Turning from the cultural patterns, the article moves on to examine types of adaptation by individuals within the culture-bearing society. In this section I learned that there are five different types of adaptation in a society. They consist of: conformity, innovation, ritualism, retreatism, and last but not least rebellion. We then move on to the last part of the article and that is titled “The Strain Toward Anomie”. Furthermore, this section explains to the reader that the social structure we have examined produces a strain toward anomie and deviant behavior.

On a more personal note, my criticism towards this article fluctuates in many aspects. First of all, I found the article generally hard to understand and I found myself reading things over and over if not once but several times. For someone who does not know much about the topic of sociology presently like me, he or she would find it challenging to read this article and grasp a general understanding of it. Moreover, I think that the author Robert K. Merton can work on that, and modify things into simpler terms. On a more positive note, besides for the article being difficult to understand, it did have a lot of important information, and knowledgeable information as well. The author divided the article up into sections, which I do prefer, and he went into a great amount of detail on all of the topics, and did not leave on particular topic out to dry. The most important aspect however, was that I did learn from reading this article, furthermore it benefited me. It caused me to think, and really put things in my own words in order to make myself understand what the author was trying to get across to the reader in the article.

Written on November 12th, 2010

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