To assess Robert K. Mertons paradigm: 75 years with “Social Structure and Anomie"

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To assess Robert K. Mertons paradigm: 75 years with “Social Structure and Anomie"

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title To assess Robert K. Mertons paradigm: 75 years with “Social Structure and Anomie"
Author(s) Reinler, William A.
Date 2013
English abstract
Historically, Robert Merton’s theory of anomie has suffered from harsh criticism on the basis of its weak empirical support and theoretical assumptions. Although, some have made the claim that the failing support is because of inadequate operationalization of Merton’s theory. The purpose of this study is therefore to analyze the operationalization in previous research of Robert Merton’s original theory of anomie, as it was presented in 1938 in Social Structure and Anomie. Firstly, a thorough examination and analysis is conducted on the article Social Structure and Anomie and the theory therein. Secondly, through a systematic review 13 articles that operationalize Merton’s theory were selected and then analyzed based on the core parts of Robert Merton’s paradigm. Results indicate that the culturally defined goals almost exclusively are operationalized as academic and/or economic goals and that the institutionalized means are operationalized in accord with the culturally defined goals. Furthermore, it is found that neither adaptations nor the cultural perspective have any significant place within operationalization.
Swedish abstract
Robert Mertons anomiteori har historiskt fått skarp kritik på grund av sitt svaga empiriska stöd och sina teoretiska antaganden. Vissa har dock menat att det svaga empiriska stödet beror på felaktiga operationaliseringar av Mertons teori. Den här studien syftar således till att studera operationaliseringar i tidigare forskning av Robert Mertons ursprungliga anomiteori som den presenterades år 1938 i Social Structure and Anomie. Först genomförs en noggrann genomgång och analys av artikeln Social Structure and Anomie och den teori som där presenteras. Genom en systematisk litteraturöversikt har sedan 13 artiklar som operationaliserat Mertons teori valts ut och sedan analyserats utifrån de centrala delarna av Robert Mertons paradigm. Resultaten visar att kulturellt definierade intressen nästan enbart har operationaliserats som akademiska och/eller ekonomiska mål och att de accepterade medlen operationaliserats i enlighet med de kulturellt definierade intressena. Vidare konstateras att varken anpassningsformer eller kulturperspektivet har någon framträdande plats i operationaliseringarna.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Hälsa och samhälle
Pages 34
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) anomie
Robert Merton
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