Application of stress theory to financial crime (2023)

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The word count:1610 wordsPublished:February 8, 2020

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HHow has stress theory contributed to our understanding of financially motivated crime?behavior?How can we better understand the case of Rajina Subramaniam using this theoretical framework?Use established reading, case study, and your own additional research to address this question.

In this essay, I will examine how stress theory has contributed to our understanding of money-motivated criminal behavior. White, Haines and Asquith (2012) state that structural tension generally refers to the processes by which inadequate regulation at the societal level infiltrates the way individuals perceive their needs. Individual stress refers to the friction and pain experienced by people while looking for ways to satisfy their needs, which becomes the motivational mechanism that causes crime (White, Haines and Asquith 2012). This essay will analyze the theoretical framework based on Rajina Subramaniam's case study and academic literature.

PARAGRAPH TWO:Sociologist Robert Merton agrees that deviance is normal behavior in a functioning society (Agnew 1993). Merton also claims that access to socially acceptable goals plays a role in determining whether a person deviates from or conforms to society (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). Merton argues that all individuals share the same cultural goals in one way or another, but have different institutional means of achieving them (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). For example, some people at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale will have blocked opportunities than those in a wealthy family. Consequently, this has a big impact on behavior. Furthermore, Merton believed that there was a disjunction between socially approved media for success and legitimate cultural goals. Throughout life, people are encouraged to achieve the goal of financial success. However, not everyone in society is on an equal footing. A person may have the socially acceptable goal of financial success, but lack a socially acceptable way to achieve that goal (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). The discrepancy between the reality of structural inequality and the high cultural value of economic success creates a tension that must be resolved somehow. Therefore, Merton defined five ways in which people adapt to this gap between having a socially accepted goal but not a socially accepted way of pursuing it (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). First, most people in society choose to conform rather than deviate (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). Therefore, people pursue society's valued goals to the extent possible by socially acceptable means (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). Second, people who innovate accept culturally defined goals but lack the means to achieve them (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). Third, people who ritualize restrict their goals until they can be achieved through socially acceptable means (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). This individual has accepted the fact that the cultural goal is unattainable, but still tries to achieve it through legal channels. Fourth, others withdraw from role tension and reject both society's goals and accepted means (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). Some beggars and homeless people have strayed from society's goal of financial success. These individuals withdrew from society mentally, socially, or both (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). And finally, White, Haines and Asquith (2017) claim that a handful of people in society rebel, replacing society's goals and means with their own. Rebels seek to create a highly modified social structure in which merit, effort, and reward are closer (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017). This individual not only gives up the cultural goal and creates a new goal, but also gives up the legal means to achieve the new goal. Examples of crooks are eco-terrorist organizations, religious cults, and white supremacist groups (White, Haines, and Asquith 2017).

THIRD PARAGRAPH: According to Merton's theory, an entrepreneur who is unable to start his own business may be tempted to embezzle money from his employer to obtain start-up funds (Agnew 1993). Likewise, Subramaniam was stealing from his employer in order to receive attention and positive affirmation from his colleagues and complete strangers.

About the case study ofSubramaniam, during her childhood, suffered sexual abuse from her family, which led her to have low self-esteem. This emotional stress led her to crave attention and positive affirmation, lavishing expensive gifts on colleagues and complete strangers. Furthermore, in a clinical study, Arnold et al (2003) cited in Watts and McNulty 2013) found that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse had significantly higher levels of depression and aggression and were more likely to be convicted of a crime. . Consequently, people with low self-control, such as Subramaniam, may be less able to deal effectively with significant stress and more persuaded to respond criminally. These stresses are likely to trigger emotional reactions (anger, fear, depression, rage), which then activate potential coping mechanisms as people seek to cope with the stressful events and the resulting emotional feeling. Some coping mechanisms are effective in decreasing and/or ameliorating the stressful event and the negative emotion, but when these mechanisms are ineffective, antisocial behavior occurs and can be directed to the cause of the stress, to some other target or even to the self (Higgins , Piquero and Piquero 2011). Therefore, due to the financial strain Subramanian endured, she ended up stealing to overcome the strain.

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Scheuerman (2013) further explained the crime generation process in the GST, outlining the four criteria and processes for evaluating events to determine whether they are a stress that can result in crime and delinquency. The individual must assess the event as unfair. The individual must assess the event as being of great magnitude through a determination of the personalization of the event. The event must be associated with low social control. Upon experiencing the event, the individual is likely to see that there is no one around to maintain order and help reduce the large scale and unfair nature of the event. The event needs to provide pressure or incentive to produce a criminal confrontation. That is, the event needs to provide the individual with a reason to change. The evaluation process influences the determination of a criminal or deviant reaction to the event. To be clear, when an event meets these criteria, the individual is more apt for crime and deviance because there is a tendency to deal with it criminally rather than non-criminally. The evaluation of the event is likely to obscure the individual's ability to adequately assess the consequences of the behavior that makes the offense and deviance likely. The choice of crime and deviance as a defense mechanism can arise from both internal and external factors, as some factors can provide the right conditions for crime and deviance.

CONC:A limitation of stress theory is that Merton does not consider why some people find it more difficult to achieve social goals than others. Nor does he pursue the idea that inequality or inequality of opportunity in society is a social problem, nor what the cause of this problem might be. to be. While not being able to fulfill the Australian Dream might encourage someone to rob a bank, there is no apparent reason why someone would punch someone or draw graffiti in a store.

reference list

  • White, R, Haines, F & Asquith, N 2012, 'Strin Theory', em Crime and Criminology, 6ª edição, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 73 a
  • Watts, S.J & McNulty, T.L 2013, 'Child abuse and criminal behavior: testing a general stress theory model',Journal of Interpersonal Violence,vol. 28, edition. 15, pg. 3023-3040, October 1, accessed April 14, 2018,
  • White, R, Haines, F & Asquith, N 2017, 'Crime and Criminology', em Crime and Criminology, 6ª Edição, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 107-1 73 a
  • Scheuerman, H. L 2013, 'The relationship between injustice and crime: an overview of stress theory',criminal justice magazine, vol. 41, no. 6, December 2013, p. 375-385, accessed May 2, 2019.

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