Research Paper: Criminology Theories

Pages: 5 (1446 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper


This study explains the meaning of anomie and criminal activities in the world. The article describes the definition of anomie and its effects in the community. A state of anomie in society leads to the rise in criminal activity. Anomie in society gives potential criminals a reason for them to engage in social vices such as crime and cause insecurity in the community. The purpose of this study is to show why criminal activities increase in society. The article also gives ways in which relevant authorities can reduce crime and make the society a peaceful place for people to live in harmony (Cochran 2012). The article gives a theoretical understanding to crime. It also provides different meanings by different scholars who have researched about anomie and its impact in society.

How it contributes to existing research

The article contributes to existing research by giving in-depth information about anomie. It describes how it affects society today in terms of crime. The study seeks to offer complex and multidimensional definition of anomie. Emile Durkheim first coined the term anomie to mean a state where the society lacks social norms. He describes anomie as a situation where there are no social norms. In a state of anomie, there is collapse of social bonds between the community and an individual. Unruly scenarios result in disintegration of social identity and rebuff of inner values. The study gives another meaning of anomie. Cochran describes anomie as "a highly prominent theoretical construct in macro-social, particularly cross-national, criminological inquiry. Despite its prominence, it has proven to be quite elusive with regard to its measurement and, hence, making it nearly impossible to test theoretical hypotheses regarding its predictive efficacy (Cochran 2012)." The definition by Cochran bases on the world today and what is happening in society today.

Test of the empirical study

The empirical study tests situation in which culture creates disunity and deviance. This provides a foundation in studying cause and the level of crime in the community (Cochran 2012). The study seeks to test the level of anomie and what leads to it. The level of criminal activities in the community will rise if there is a state of anomie. The articles studies criminal behaviors and what leads people to commit them. The empirical study would be testing the hypothetical analysis of anomie and ways, which a country can ensure that it does not emerge. There are many disadvantages of anomie. One of them being that anomie leads to destruction of peace (Cochran 2012). Anomie destroys the social structures in the community and leads to chaos and these results in rise of criminal activities and economic downfall.

Measure of theoretical constructs

Cochran measures the concept of anomie as complex and multidimensional. Through the article, Cochran attempts to develop a theoretical construct of the concept of anomie that is consistent and accurate to present situations. Cochran uses simple, single-item and proxy measures to develop the concept of anomie. Through this, Cochran develops a complex operation that examines strategies if predicting levels of criminal behaviors such as homicide and theft (Cochran 2012). This approach has substantial predictive efficacy that accounts for one third of the total variation of levels if homicide and theft in society.

Anomie is the lack of accepted social values and standards (Cochran 2012). An individual's actions determine the level of anomie on the community. People must follow social norms, practices and values. According to Cochran, anomie will emerge when the economy changes leading to poverty (Cochran 2012). This causes people to involve in crime as a way of earning income. Decrease in ideological theories, values and norms decrease, leads to the rise of anomie. Cochran develops Robert Merton's strain theory to mean inconsistency between social goals and the approved means of attaining these goals. Structural limitations in society may limit the ability of a person to attain societal goals through approved means such as employment. This leads people to engage in crime as a way out of poverty.

Most countries have a capitalistic economy where there is private ownership of property. In a capitalistic state, people have the right to control their property as they deem fit. This creates a free market where there is production of goods and services and its distribution (Cochran 2012). Structural anomie occurs when people cannot use the approved means of attaining… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

Criminology Theories.  (2013, March 17).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Criminology Theories."  17 March 2013.  Web.  20 May 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Criminology Theories."  March 17, 2013.  Accessed May 20, 2019.