Q:

What is opportunity theory?

A:

Opportunity theory is simply the idea that people look for opportunity, whether through legitimate means or otherwise, to gain what they desire. It is a crucial element of the theory of deviance.

The origination of opportunity theory lies in the way that society functions. In a society, there is the concept of "norms" and the concept of "deviance." The "norms" of a society are a system of shared values that determine how a society perceives those within it. These norms include values that dictate a standard acceptable lifestyle. When a standard lifestyle established by a society becomes unachievable, people become deviant in attempts to achieve that standard in order to continue to be perceived as within the realm of norm. Opportunity theory is complex in some ways, because there is not only the deviance of deciding to go outside of cultural norms to attain those things valued by society, but the deviance of then looking for opportunities to attain them in the fastest and most reasonable way possible. Those who commit crime as the result of their deviance also look for opportunities that make the crime efficient. A criminal wanting to rob a store, for instance, might look first for one with minimum security and easy accessibility.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What are some reasons that people commit crimes?

    A:

    There are many theories about why people commit crimes. Issues such as poverty, drug abuse and mental illness often play a role in driving an individual to commit a crime, yet these factors do not offer a complete explanation of the phenomenon. The reasons that people commit crimes are as unique and varied as the individuals who commit them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who were the primary people involved in Watergate?

    A:

    The Watergate Scandal involved many important men from Richard Nixon's administration, including former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, who was running Nixon’s re-election committee; White House Counsel John Dean; White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman; White House Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs John Ehrlichman and President Nixon himself. The men arrested for the initial burglary were Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Frank Sturgis and James W. McCord.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do young people commit crimes?

    A:

    Crime rates are higher in Americans in their late teens to early twenties because peer relationships are most important in adolescence, as stated in the book "A Primer on Social Problems." A person's peers may commit crimes, which tends to draw others into the same activities.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are people framed for crimes?

    A:

    There are incidents in which people are framed by police officers, according to High Times. There have been numerous incidents of cops smearing drug residue on cars as a way of alerting drug-sniffing dogs. Also, there have been cases of New York police officers planting drugs during searches, as reported by Russia Today.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore