Revaluating relative deprivation theory
Theoretical Criminology, 11, (1), . (doi:10.1177/1362480607072737).
This article reassesses the concept of relative deprivation and restates its relevance and potential to extend the theoretical boundaries of criminology. Rather than search for causes or attempting to determine the genesis of the problem in either individuals or social structures, relative deprivation can sensitise us to the process and emotion of crime, the fluidity of deviant activity and, as such, connects to the contemporary concerns of cultural and psychosocial criminology. The article is also intended to reacquaint criminologists with the work of W.G. Runciman, a leading theorist of relative deprivation. Runciman’s work can be seen as an elaboration of Mertonian strain tradition.
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