Date of Award

7-7-2011

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S.

Keywords

Social Strain Theory, Fairfax County, VA, crime data during the Great Recession

Department

Geography

Abstract

Robert Merton, through the Social Strain Theory, suggests that crime exists because of society’s demands do not meet individuals needs. The following study is a qualitative study that first explains what the Social Strain Theory is, then tests to see if this theory has any validity to one of the most affluent counties in the United States. This study compares Fairfax County’s socioeconomic variables with the their crime data during the Great Recession to uncover any trends or patterns for which Robert Merton would say are due to high amounts of Social Strain. The overall results of the study suggest that social strain does have some impact on crime totals.

Comments

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