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Application of Theory-Social Strain Theory

Application of Theory-Social Strain Theory

People violate social or legal norms for several reasons. For some, their genetic composition predisposes them to be disobedient to formal or informal social rules. Alternatively, people can be deviant from social norms because of psychological challenges. Lastly, deviants can defy societal norms because they experience unbearable social pressures. The Social Strain Theory emphasizes that deviant behavior is sometimes fuelled by societal pressure (Cassella, 2020). The theory also asserts that every society has informal norms that mandate people use behavioral measures to observe them. Therefore, for the Social Strain Theory, deviants act as they do because they experience individual pressure from society to act in a prescribed way in respect to created cultural norms. The theory also shares five ways deviants are affected by the Social Strain Theory act and their application in real-life scenarios.

Firstly, the Social Strain Theory emphasizes that people can choose to obey societal culture and accept to use of prescribed behaviors in obedience to cultural norms. For instance, in the current society, some cultures prohibit children from being rude to their parents. Therefore, if a child chooses to be polite to their guardians, they conform to societal cultures as suggested by the Social Strain Theory. Secondly, a person can be deviant by accepting societal norms but rejecting society’s prescription of how to obey these rules (Cassella, 2020). In a real-life scenario, the deviant person innovates a way to obey societal norms that is outside the traditional prescribed way. Thirdly, the Social Strain Theory asserts that people can be deviant of societal norms by rejecting them but developing a routine to observe them, anyway. For instance, an individual may disagree they should obey their parents always but develop a routine of always talking to them politely and respectfully.

Fourthly, the Social Strain Theory emphasizes that deviants can exhibit retreatism, where they reject social norms and the prescribed way to actualize them. For instance, the deviant may not talk to their parents respectfully because they have rejected the societal culture that mandates children to be obedient to their guardians. Lastly, the Social Strain Theory insists that people can be deviant by rebelling against set social norms and instead, introducing theirs  (Cassella, 2020). For instance, an individual may rebel against the societal norm to obey parents, refuse to be respectful to their guardians, and instead, influence other people to always challenge their parents every time they disagree with them.


Cassella, K. (2020). Social Work and Deviant Behavior. Eastern Gateway Community College.


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Application of Theory-Social Strain Theory

Application of Theory: Provide two examples with explanations on how the Social Strain Theory explains deviant behavior.

Application of Theory-Social Strain Theory

Application of Theory-Social Strain Theory

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